Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 373–380

Heterosis breeding in rice (Oryza sativa L.)


  • S. S. Virmani
    • International Rice Research Institute
  • R. C. Aquino
    • International Rice Research Institute
  • G. S. Khush
    • International Rice Research Institute

DOI: 10.1007/BF00303911

Cite this article as:
Virmani, S.S., Aquino, R.C. & Khush, G.S. Theoret. Appl. Genetics (1982) 63: 373. doi:10.1007/BF00303911


Studies conducted at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) during 1980 and 1981 have shown up to 73% heterosis, 59% heterobeltiosis and 34% standard heterosis for yield in rice. The latter was estimated in comparison to commercial varieties: IR36 and IR42 (yield 4–5 t/ha in wet season trials and 7–8 t/ha in dry season trials). Generally speaking, absolute yield was lower and extent of standard heterosis was higher in wet season than in dry season with some exception. Yields up to 5.9 t/ha (22% standard heterosis) in the wet season and 10.4 t/ha (34% standard heterosis) in the dry season were obtained. Most of the hybrids performed better in some season while some performed better in both seasons. Hybrids showed better lodging resistance although they were 5–10 cm taller. F1 hybrids had significant positive correlations with the parental traits viz., yield (r = 0.446), tillering (r = 0.746), height (r = 0.810) and flowering (r = 0.843). Selection of parents among elite breeding lines on the basis of their per se yield performance, diverse origin and resistance to insects and diseases should give heterotic combination. Yield advantage of hybrids was due primarily to increase in number of spikelets per unit area even though tiller number was reduced. Grain weight was either the same or slightly higher. High yielding hybrids also showed significant heterosis and heterobeltiosis for total dry matter and harvest index. For commercial utilization of heterosis in rice, effective male sterility and fertility restoration systems are available and up to 45% natural outcrossing on male sterile lines has been observed. Consequently, F1 rice hybrid have been successfully developed and used in China. Prospects of developing hybrid rice varieties elsewhere appear bright especially in countries that have organized seed production, certification and distribution programs and where hybrid seed can be produced at a reasonable cost.

Key words

Hybrid vigourHybrid riceHeterosisHeterobeltiosisStandard heterosis

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982