Use of NDVI for indirect selection of high yield in tropical rice breeding uri icon

abstract

  • Plant breeders evaluate large numbers of breeding lines/accessions and measure various traits in the field in order to identify and select elite genotypes with high yield. Therefore, information on highly correlated yield-related traits and simple high-throughput methods to predict grain yield would be useful for rice breeders. The objective of this study was to examine the usefulness of various traits as indirect selection criteria for high yield in tropical rice breeding, with an emphasis on rapid and non-destructive measurements. We evaluated a wide range of germplasm, including popular varieties, elite genotypes, and donor parents, in the irrigated rice breeding program at the International Rice Research Institute, in the Philippines, during the 2015 wet season and 2016 dry season. We measured the normalized-difference vegetation index (NDVI), leaf chlorophyll content (SPAD value), agronomic traits, and grain yield. Harvest index, NDVI at the heading and late grain-filling stages, and SPAD value at the late grain-filling stage were significantly correlated with yield during the wet season, whereas plant height, panicle length, and NDVI from panicle initiation to the booting stage during the dry season. Our results indicate that pre-harvest analysis of primary and secondary traits such as NDVI has potential for selecting high-yielding accessions in tropical rice breeding programs. By using low-cost portable equipment, NDVI measurements could be incorporated into breeding programs. Trait associations with yield differed between the dry and wet seasons, which has important implications for breeding new varieties and germplasm evaluation in different seasons.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020