Heterosis in landrace-based topcross hybrids of pearl millet across arid environments uri icon

abstract

  • This study quantified the magnitude of heterosis in pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) topcross hybrids produced by crossing 16 diverse landraces and three high yielding open-pollinating varieties on two homozygous male-sterile lines. Hybrids and pollinators were grown in 12 year ×;location combinations in India that were grouped into three zones. Genetic components of variance quantifying the differences among these hybrids were estimated. The hybrids showed a conspicuous heterosis for grain yield, earliness and biomass yield but not for straw yield. The level and direction of heterosis for time to flowering depended strongly on the earliness of the male-sterile line. In the terminal drought stress zone hybrids made on the early maturing male-sterile line 843A had the highest level of heterosis for grain yield (88%). This was partly due to escape from terminal stress. In the other two zones the heterosis for grain yield was on average 30%. Heterosis for biomass yield and biomass yield per day was on average also positive in all three zones. For all traits, except time to flowering and biomass yield per day, pollinator effects were the only significant source of variation. Differences between hybrids were mostly caused by additive genetic effects. Significant amount of heterosis observed in landrace-based topcross hybrids for grain yield and other productivity-related traits suggested that substantial improvement in pearl millet productivity in and environments can be obtained by topcrossing locally adapted landraces on suitable male-sterile lines

publication date

  • 2000
  • 2000