Genotypic Variation and Genotype × Environment Interaction for Yield‐Related Traits in Synthetic Hexaploid Wheats under a Range of Optimal and Heat‐Stressed Environments
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Adaptation of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to high temperature could be improved by introgressions from wild relatives. The response of 137 D genome synthetic hexaploid wheats (SHWs) to high temperature was evaluated to determine their potential for wheat improvement. Field experiments were conducted in two temperature scenarios (normal sowing time [NOR] and late sowing time to expose the plants to heat stress [HS]) for 2 yr at three locations to assess the effect of terminal high temperature on yield-related traits. High temperature stress overall led to a 46.9% reduction in grain yield and significant reductions of 25.2% in days to heading, 26.6% in plant height, 16.1% in grain number per square meter, and 18.3% in thousand grain weight. In ridge regression analysis, agronomic traits explained 8.74 to 35.2% of the variation in grain yield in the HS treatments with an average of 30.47%. In NOR treatments, agronomic traits explained 8.85 to 45.5% of the variation in grain yield, with an average of 34.5%. Days to heading was negatively correlated with grain yield in the heat-stressed environments but did not explain significant variation in grain yield in optimal environments. Thousand-grain weight explained the highest variation in grain yield in all environments, followed by grain number per square meter. The top ten highest grain-yielding SHWs in the HS treatment were also tolerant to heat stress, with a heat susceptibility index ranging from 0.33 to 0.40. These SHWs could be a promising source to introduce yield-related traits to develop high-yielding wheat cultivars for heat-stressed environments.
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