Genetic gain for rice yield in rainfed environments in India uri icon

abstract

  • The complexity of genotype x environment interactions under drought reduces heritability, which determines the effectiveness of selection for drought tolerance and development of drought tolerant varieties. Genetic progress measured through changes in yield performance over time is important in determining the efficiency of breeding programmes in which test cultivars are replaced each year on the assumption that the new cultivars will surpass the older cultivars. The goal of our study was to determine the annual rate of genetic gain for rice grain yield in a drought-prone rainfed system in a series of multi-environment trials conducted from 2005 to 2014 under the Drought Breeding Network of Indian sites in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Our results show a positive trend in grain yield with an annual genetic yield increase of about 0.68 % under irrigated control, 0.87 % under moderate reproductive stage drought stress and 1.9 % under severe reproductive stage drought stress due to breeding efforts. The study also demonstrates the effectiveness of direct selection for grain yield under both irrigated control as well as managed drought stress screening to improve yield in typical rainfed systems. IRRI's drought breeding programme has exhibited a significant positive trend ingenetic gain for grain yield over the years under both drought stress as well as favorable irrigated control conditions. Several drought tolerant varieties released from the programme have outperformed the currently grown varieties under varied conditions in the rainfed environments on farmers' fields.

publication date

  • 2021
  • 2021