Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 241–250 | Cite as

The effect of parental divergence on F2 heterosis in winter wheat crosses

  • T. S. Cox
  • J. P. Murphy


In winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), the development of a methodology to estimate genetic divergence between parental lines, when combined with knowledge of parental performance, could be beneficial in the prediction of bulk progeny performance. The objective of this study was to relate F2 heterosis for grain yield and its components in 116 crosses to two independent estimates of genetic divergence among 28 parental genotypes of diverse origins. Genetic divergence between parents was estimated from (a) pedigree relationships (coefficients of kinship) determined without experimentation, and (b) quantitative traits measured in two years of field experimentation in Kansas and North Carolina, USA. These distances, designated (1 -r) and G, respectively, provided ample differentiation among the parents. The 116 F2 bulks were evaluated at four locations in Kansas and North Carolina in one year. Significant rank correlations of 0.46 (P = 0.01) and 0.44 (P = 0.01) were observed between G and grain yield and kernel number heterosis, respectively. Although (1 -r) was poorly associated with grain yield heterosis, G and midparent performance combined to account for 50% of the variation in F2 yields among crosses when (1 -r) was above the median value, whereas they accounted for only 9% of the variation among crosses when (1-r) was below the median. Midparent and (1 -r) had equal effects on F2 grain yield (R2= 0.40) when G was greater than the median value. A breeding strategy is proposed whereby parents are first selected on the basis of performance per se and, subsequently, crosses are made between genetically divergent parents that have both large quantitative (G) and pedigree divergence (1 -r).

Key words

Triticum aestivum L. Genetic diversity Coefficient of kinship Genetic distance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arunachalam V, Bandyopadhyay A, Nigam SN, Gibbons RW (1984) Heterosis in relation to genetic divergence and specific combining ability in groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Euphytica 3:33–39Google Scholar
  2. Busch RH, Janke JC, Frohberg RC (1974) Evaluation of crosses among high and low yielding parents of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and bulk prediction of line performance. Crop Sci 14:47–50Google Scholar
  3. Cervantes T, Goodman MM, Casas E, Rawlings JO (1978) Use of genetic effects and genotype by environmental interactions for the classification of Mexican races of maize. Genetics 90:339–384Google Scholar
  4. Cowen NM, Frey KJ (1987a) Relationships between three measures of genetic distance and breeding hehavior in oats (Avena sativa L.). Genome 29:97–106Google Scholar
  5. Cowen NM, Frey KJ (1987b) Relationship between genealogical distance and breeding behavior in oats (Avena sativa L.) Euphytica 36:413–424Google Scholar
  6. Cox TS, Murphy JP, Rodgers DM (1986) Changes in genetic diversity in the red winter wheat regions of the United States. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 83:5583–5586Google Scholar
  7. Cregan PB, Busch RH (1977) Early generation bulk hybrid yield testing of adapted hard red spring wheat crosses. Crop Sci 17:887–891Google Scholar
  8. Cregan PB, Bush RH (1978) Heterosis, inbreeding, and line performance in crosses of adapted spring wheats. Crop Sci 18:247–251Google Scholar
  9. Cress CE (1966) Heterosis of the hybrid related to gene frequency differences between two populations. Genetics 53:269–274Google Scholar
  10. Ghaderi A, Adams MW, Nassib AM (1984) Relationship between genetic distance and heterosis for yield and morphological traits in dry edible bean and faba bean. Crop Sci 24:37–42Google Scholar
  11. Goodman MM (1972) Distance analysis in biology. Syst Zool 21:174–186Google Scholar
  12. Hanson WD, Casas E (1968) Spatial relationship among eight populations Zea mays L. utilizing information from a diallel mating design. Biometrics 24:867–880Google Scholar
  13. Isleib TG, Wynne JC (1983) Heterosis in testcrosses of 27 exotic peanut cultivars. Crop Sci 23:832–841Google Scholar
  14. Jatasra DS, Paroda RS (1983) Genetic divergence in wheat. Indian J Genet 43:63–67Google Scholar
  15. Jinks JL (1983) Biometrical genetics of heterosis. In: Frankel R (ed) Heterosis. Reappraisal of theory and practice. Springer, Heidelberg Berlin New York pp 1–46 (Monographs on the-oretical and applied genetics 6)Google Scholar
  16. Lefort-Buson M, Guillot-Lemoine B, Dattee Y (1986) Heterosis and genetic distance in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). Use of different indicators of genetic divergence in a 7 × 7 diallel. Agronomie 6:839–844Google Scholar
  17. Lefort-Buson M, Dattee Y, Guillot-Lemoine B (1987) Heterosis and genetic distance in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.): Use of kinship coefficient. Genome 29:11–18Google Scholar
  18. Mahalanobis PC (1936) On the generalized distance in statistics. Proc Natl Inst Sci India 2:49–55Google Scholar
  19. Malecot G (1948) Les mathématiques de l'hérédité. Masson, ParisGoogle Scholar
  20. Maluf WR, Ferreira PE, Miranda JEC (1983) Genetic divergence in tomatoes and its relationship with heterosis for yield in F1 hybrids. Rev Brasil Genet 6:453–460Google Scholar
  21. McCammon RB, Wenninger G (1970) The dendograph. State Geological Survey, University of Kansas Computer Contr. No. 38, LawrenceGoogle Scholar
  22. Murphy JP, Cox TS, Rodgers DM (1986) Cluster analysis of red winter wheat cultivars based upon coefficents of parentage. Crop Sci 26:672–676Google Scholar
  23. Ramanujam S, Tiwari AS, Mehra RB (1974) Genetic divergence and hybrid performance in mung bean. Theor Appl Genet 45:211–214Google Scholar
  24. Shamsuddin AKM (1985) Genetic diversity in relation to heterosis and combining ability in spring wheat. Theor Appl Genet 70:306–308Google Scholar
  25. Snedecor GW, Cochran WG (1980) Statistical methods. The Iowa State Univ Press, AmesGoogle Scholar
  26. Souza EJ (1988) Measures and applications of genetic relationships in oats. PhD dissertation, Cornell University, Ithaca/ NYGoogle Scholar
  27. Zadoks JC, Chang TT, Konzak CF (1974) A decimal code for the growth stages of cereals. Weed Res 14:415–421Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. S. Cox
    • 1
  • J. P. Murphy
    • 2
  1. 1.USDA-ARS, Agronomy DepartmentKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Crop Science DepartmentNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations