Can spelt wheat be used as heterotic group for hybrid wheat breeding?
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.
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 appear suited to be used as heterotic group in hybrid wheat breeding. Nevertheless, high combining abilities of a few spelt lines with elite bread wheat lines make them interesting resources for pre-breeding in bread wheat. Thereby, the low correlation between line per se performance and combining ability of these spelt lines shows the potential to unravel the breeding value of genetic resources by crossing them to an elite tester.
W. Akel was financially supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG LO 1816/4-1).
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that the experiments comply with the current laws of Germany.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Bertin P, Grégoire D, Massart S, de Froidmont D (2004) High level of genetic diversity among spelt germplasm revealed by microsatellite markers. NRC Can Genome 47:1043–1052Google Scholar
- Duvick DN (1999) Heterosis: feeding people and protecting natural resources. In: Coors JG, Pandey S (eds) The Book: the genetics and exploitation of heterosis in crops. ASA-CSSA-SSSA, 677 South Segoe Road, Madison, p 53711Google Scholar
- Gilmour AR, Gogel BG, Cullis BR, Thompson R (2009) ASReml user guide release 3.0. VSN International Ltd., Hemel Hempstead, UKGoogle Scholar
- Longin CFH (2016) Future of wheat breeding is driven by hybrid wheat and efficient strategies for pre-breeding on quantitative traits. J Bot Sci (p-ISSN: 2347-2308)Google Scholar
- Melchinger AE (1999) Genetic diversity and heterosis. In: Coors JG, Pandey S (eds) The genetics and exploitation of heterosis in crops. CSSA, Madison, pp 99–118Google Scholar
- Ogbonnaya FC, Abdalla O, Mujeeb-Kazi A, Kazi AG, Xu SS, Gosman N, Tsujimoto H (2013) Synthetic hexaploids: harnessing species of the primary gene pool for wheat improvement. Plant Breed Rev 37:35–122Google Scholar
- R Core Team (2016) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. http://www.R-project.org/
- Wang S, Wong D, Forrest K, Allen A, Chao S, Huang BE, Maccaferri M, Salvi S, Milner SG, Cattivelli L, Mastrangelo AM, Whan A, Stephen S, Barker G, Wieseke R, Plieske J, International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium; Lillemo M, Mather D, Appels, Dolferus R, Brown-Guedira R, Korol A, Akhunova AR, Feuillet C, Salse, Morgante M, Pozniak C, Luo M-C, Dvorak J, Morell M, Dubcovsky J, Ganal M, Tuberosa R, Lawley C, Ikoulitch I, Cavanagh C, Edwards KJ, Hayden M, Akhunov E (2014) Characterization of polyploid wheat genomic diversity using a high-density 90,000 single nucleotide polymorphism array. Plant Biotech J 12: 787–796Google Scholar
- Wright S (1978) Evolution and genetics of populations, variability within and among natural populations, vol 4. The University of Chicagor Press, Chicago, p 91Google Scholar
- Würschum T, Langer S, Longin CFH, Korzun V, Akhunov E, Ebmeyer E, Schachschneider R, Kazman E, Schacht J, Reif JC (2013) Population structure, genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium in elite winter wheat assessed with SNP and SSR markers. Theor Appl Genet 126:1477–1486CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Zhao Y, Li Z, Liu G, Jiang Y, Maurer HP, Würschum T, Mock HP, Matros A, Ebmeyer E, Schachschneider R, Kazman E, Schacht J, Gowda M, Longin CFH, Reif JC (2015) Genome-based establishment of a high-yielding heterotic pattern for hybrid wheat breeding. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112:15624–15629PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar