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Genetic response to index selection for grain yield, kernel weight and per cent protein in four wheat crosses



Genetic response to index selection for grain yield, kernel weight and per cent protein in four wheat crosses



Plant Breeding 115(6): 459-464



Quantitative genetic theory was used to investigate selection differentials, expected and observed direct and correlated responses to simultaneous improvement of grain yield, kernel weight, and grain protein content in F-3 and F-4 populations of four spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crosses. Selection in the F-3 generation based on the Smith-Hazel index (SH) and yield was found to be superior to the other methods studied in identifying high-yielding lines, but resulted in substantial decrease in grain protein level. Consequently, a 1.0% increase in protein from selection for protein depressed grain yield as much as 536 kg/ha below the population mean, reducing the expected yield gains per generation selection cycle by 250%. The weight-free indices (EW), particularly the index involving only yield and kernel weight (EW3) and its linear approximation (EW4), and the desired gains indices were effective in improving protein content but were less efficient in selecting top-yielding lines. Selection in the opposite direction using truncation of the lowest 10% of the population based on weight-free-index involving yield, kernel weight and protein (EW2) reduced all traits significantly compared with the mean of the unselected population indicating the effectiveness of the unweighted selection index. The observed genetic gains (Ra) from selection based on yield, the SH, EW3 and EW4 indices were slightly lower than the expected advances per cycle (R) in populations from crosses 'Sinton' times 'Glenlea' (C1), 'Glenlea' times 'NB505' (C2), and 'A2P5' times 'NB320'(C6) (Ra/R = 70 to 85%) but were higher in cross 'NB505' times 'A2P5' (C5) (Ra/R = 126 to 143%). It was concluded that weight-free and the desired gains indices can be used to improve wheat grain yield and grain protein simultaneously in F-3 generation selection, as revealed by response to selection measured in the F-4 generation.

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Accession: 002851091

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0523.1996.tb00957.x



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