, Volume 142, Issue 1–2, pp 149–159 | Cite as

Heterosis for yield and its physiological determinants in wheat

  • D. R. Kindred
  • M. J. Gooding


Heterosis in hybrid wheat varieties produced using a chemical hybridising agent was assessed in field experiments. Hyno Esta and its parents were compared in factorial combinations of four-seed rates (25–300 seeds m−2) and two nitrogen fertilizer rates (0 and 200 kg N ha−1) in 2001/02 and again in 2002/03. Hyno Rista and Hyno Renta and their parents were compared at two-seed rates in 2001/02. Hyno Rista and its parents were added factorially to the Hyno Esta experiment in 2002/03, while Hyno Renta and Hybred and their parents were compared at two seed rates in 2002/03. Mid parent heterosis for grain yield was found in three hybrids and two of these showed high parent heterosis. High parent heterosis in Hyno Esta over a range of sowing densities was mostly exhibited in total biomass but also, in one of two years, in harvest index. High parent heterosis in Hyno Renta was associated more with harvest index than with biomass. The heterosis for biomass in Hyno Esta resulted from greater interception of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) than the male parent, with better radiation use efficiency than the female parent. In both seasons Hyno Esta achieved grain numbers per ear at least as high as the high parent for this trait (Audace), and combined this with mean grain weights at least as heavy as the high parent for mean grain weight (Estica). Much of the increased biomass and grain yield in the hybrid came late in the season as high parent heterosis was expressed for both maximum grain filling rate and grain filling duration. Heterosis was higher when nitrogen was applied than when withheld; only greater at lower seed rates when expressed in proportionate terms (e.g. as a percentage of the parents), rather than in absolute terms (e.g. t ha−1); and greater in the year with the cooler and wetter summer.


heterosis hybrid wheat light interception radiation use efficiency seed rate yield 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crops Research Unit, Department of AgricultureThe University of ReadingReadingU.K.
  2. 2.ADAS Centre for Sustainable Crop ManagementCambridgeU.K.

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