, Volume 88, Issue 8, pp 1023-1028

Genetic analysis of carbon isotope discrimination and agronomic characters in a bread wheat cross

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Carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) has been suggested as a selection criterion to improve transpiration efficiency (W) in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Cultivars ‘Chinese Spring’ with low A (high W) and ‘Yecora Rojo’ with high Δ (low W) were crossed to develop F1, F2, BC1, and BC2 populations for genetic analysis of Δ and other agronomic characters under well-watered (wet) and water-stressed (dry) field conditions. Significant variation was observed among the generations for Δ only under the wet environment. Generation x irrigation interactions were not significant for Δ. Generation means analysis indicated that additive gene action is of primary importance in the expression of Δ under nonstress conditions. Dominance gene action was also detected for Δ, and the direction of dominance was toward higher values of Δ. The broad-sense and the narrow-sense heritabilities for Δ were 61 % and 57% under the wet conditions, but were 48% and 12% under the draughted conditions, respectively. The narrow-sense heritabilities for grain yield, above-ground dry matter, and harvest index were 36%, 39%, and 60% under the wet conditions and 21%, 44%, and 20% under dry conditions, respectively. The significant additive genetic variation and moderate estimate of the narrow-sense heritability observed for Δ indicated that selection under wet environments should be effective in changing Δ in spring bread wheat.