Key message Spelt wheat is a distinct genetic group to elite bread wheat, but heterosis for yield and protein quality is too low for spelt to be recommended as heterotic group for hybrid breeding in wheat. Abstract The feasibility to switch from line to hybrid breeding is currently a hot topic in the wheat community. One limitation seems to be the lack of divergent heterotic groups within wheat adapted to a certain region. Spelt wheat is a hexaploid wheat that can easily be crossed with bread wheat and that forms a divergent genetic group when compared to elite bread wheat. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of Central European spelt as a heterotic group for Central European bread wheat. We performed two large experimental field studies comprising in total 43 spelt lines, 14 wheat lines, and 273 wheat–spelt hybrids, and determined yield, heading time, plant height, resistance against yellow rust, leaf rust, and powdery mildew, as well as protein content and sedimentation volume. Heterosis of yield was found to be lower than that of hybrids made between elite wheat lines. Moreover, heterosis of the quality trait sedimentation volume was negative. Consequently, spelt wheat does not
TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 16, 2018
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