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Grain yield and quality under terminal heat stress (post anthesis) are the most complex traits that are influenced by environmental factors and are characterized by low heritability and large genotype × environment interactions. The present study was undertaken to determine effectiveness of selection for genotypes tolerant to heat stress using differences in 1000-grain weight (dTGW) under the optimum and late sown field condition. A Recombinant Inbred Line (RIL) mapping population derived from the heat sensitive genotype Raj 4014 and heat tolerant genotype WH730 was evaluated for the heat stress over 2 years in a replicated trial under optimum and late sown field conditions. The parental lines were screened with approximately 300 SSR (μsatellite) markers out of which about 20% showed polymorphism. These polymorphic markers were utilized for genotyping a subset that had clear contrasting variation for dTGW. The difference in TGW between the timely and late sown conditions was used as a phenotypic trait for association with markers. Analysis of the two years data under timely and late sown condition revealed parents and their RILs clearly showing variation with respect to the dTGW. Regression analysis revealed significant association of dTGW of RILs with two markers viz., Xpsp3094, and Xgwm282 with coefficients of determination (R2) values of 0.14 and 0.11, respectively.

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Terminal heat referred to as increase in temperature during grain filling, is one of the important stress factors for wheat production and is responsible for decline in wheat production in many environments worldwide. In order to meet the challenges of high temperature ahead of global warming, concerted efforts are needed to evaluate wheat genotypes for heat tolerance and develop genotypes suitable for such stressed environments. Twenty-seven advanced wheat genotypes developed for stress and normal environments by different research centres were evaluated during 2009–10 and 2010–11 under timely sown (normal) and late sown (heat stress) environments. Analysis of variance revealed that the genotypes differed significantly in grain filling duration (GFD), grain growth rate (GGR) and thousand-grain weight (TGW). Out of 27 genotypes, 16 were found to be tolerant for thousand-grain weight under late planting (heat stress) during 2009-10 but only 12 were tolerant during 2010–11. Many of the genotypes registered more reduction in thousand-grain weight during 2010–11 as compared to 2009–10; the temperatures during 2009–10 were higher. The differences in grain filling duration under two conditions during both seasons as well as difference in temperatures during first half of grain filling explain the reduction pattern in the genotypes. GFD had significant negative correlation with temperatures during post heading period and the difference in GFD under two environments had positive correlation with these temperatures. The reduction in GFD had regression of 33.3% on reduction in GGR and reduction in GGR had regression of 41.6% on reduction in TGW genotypes AKW 1071, DBW 17, HS 277, K 7903, K 9107, NW 1014 and RAJ 3765 had less sensitivity to stress environments during both years.

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Cytoplasmic ( Triticum timopheevii -based) and chemically induced (CH9832- based) male sterility systems were compared for hybrid performance in wheat. A total of 40 genotypes including 10 CMS-based hybrids, 10 CHA-based hybrids, 10 B lines and 10 R lines were included in the experiment. analysis of variance revealed significant differences between the genotypes for all the characters studied. Differences between the hybrids and their parents were significant for all the characters. There were also significant differences between the hybrids resulting from the two systems of sterility. This study of 10 comparable hybrids showed, on average, midparent heterosis of 30.2 and 7.3% for CMS- and CHA-derived hybrids, respectively. Generally, the CMS-based hybrids were superior to their CHA-based equivalents for grain yield performance. In spite of the incomplete fertility the higher grain yield in CMS-based hybrids was attributed to the profuse tillering and high thousand-grain weight. On the other hand, the CHA-based hybrids had lower yield performance due to the lower thousand-grain weight and tillering. The lower grain weight and tillering in these hybrids compared with their CMS-based equivalents might be due to the toxic effect of the CHA, which was carried over to the hybrid and affected vigour. As a whole the CMS system was found to be better than the CHA system (based on the particular CHA used in this study) for hybrid performance in wheat.

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The effect of spraying speed (5, 8.5 or 12 km/h) on deposition quality of fungicide on a winter wheat head, yield, grain quality, occurrence of Fusarium head blight (FHB) and deoxynivalenol (DON) content in grains was investigated in 2011 and 2012. Asymmetric double flat fan air-injector nozzles were used in the trial at a spraying pressure of 5.0 bars. A prothiconazole + tebuconazole fungicide mixture was used for spraying. An increase of spraying speed significantly lowered coverage values at the front and rear parts of a wheat head. At all three spraying speeds, the rear part of a wheat head reached a better coverage value. The effect of spraying speed was significant in 2011, when the 5 km/h spraying speed generated a significantly higher grain yield and a significantly higher thousand-grain weight in comparison with the other treatments. In both trial years, the lowest grain yield occurred on the unsprayed control. In 2011 and 2012, the latter also reached the lowest hectolitre weight and thousand-grain weight. In both trial years, the unsprayed control had a significantly higher DONcontent than the other treatments. In 2012, the DONcontent on the unsprayed control exceeded the allowed maximum level. The spraying speed did not affect the DON content in the grains. The effect of spraying speed was also noted in the FHB incidence. A significantly lower FHB incidence occurred at the 5 and 8.5 km/h spraying speeds.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: A. Noga, M. Warchoł, I. Czyczyło-Mysza, I. Marcińska, K. Dziurka, T. Warzecha, and E. Skrzypek

Chlorophyll a fluorescence can provide insight into the ability of plants to tolerate environmental conditions that can damage photosynthetic apparatus and decrease yield. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters and yield components of oat DH lines. All DH lines significantly differed in chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters and yield components. The overall performance index of PSII photochemistry (PI), showed the highest variation between DH lines, whereas the lowest had the ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence (Fv/Fm). The highest differences were observed in the number of grains per plant (21.3 to 600). Thousand-grain weight varied from 17.82 g to 41.01 g and the biomass from 8.01 g to 29.31 g. The highest negative correlations were found between Fv/Fm, Area (pool size of electron acceptors from PSII), PI and grain number per plant and biomass. Positive correlations were observed between light energy absorption (ABS/CS), grain number per plant and biomass, as well as the amount of excitation energy trapped in PSII reaction centers (TRo/CS) and biomass. Principal component analysis of chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters, together with yield components, discriminated two oat DH lines groups according to their photosynthetic efficiency and yield.

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Eleven spring wheat cultivars were compared in terms of the stability of their grain yield and grain quality. The cultivars’ stability was evaluated separately at two different crop management levels – moderate-input management and high-input management. Three stability models were used for the two crop management levels based on a linear mixed model framework with restricted maximum likelihood. The Shukla model was the most appropriate for the evaluation of stability of tested spring wheat cultivars. The thousand-grain weight, starch content, Zeleny sedimentation value and test weight were characterized, and the stability ranking cultivars at moderate-input management level was mostly consistent with the rank of cultivars 24 for high-input management level. For grain yield, grain protein content and wet gluten content, the stability rankings were not consistent. Cultivars ‘Monsun’ and ‘Parabola’ are the most stable cultivars for grain yield in moderate-input management and high-input management, respectively. Cultivar ‘Hewilla’ was the stable cultivar for all quality traits at moderate-input management. Cultivar ‘Arabella’ was the most stable cultivar at high-input management level.

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The 1BL/1RS wheat-rye translocations had been used in wheat breeding programs worldwide. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the 1BL/1RS translocation in SeriM82 /Babax recombinant population. 167 lines of this population were assayed under well-irrigated, terminal drought, heat and a combination of heat and drought stress conditions in two years. 5S rDNA and Iag95 markers were used to differentiate genotypes with or without the1BL/1RS translocation. Presence of 1BL/1RS translocation reduced grain yield (YLD), grain per spike (GSP) and grain per m2 (GM2). QTLs in 1 BL/1RS segments indicated increased thousand-grain weight (TGW), chlorophyll content, spikelet per spike (SPLS), spike compactness (SCOM) and awn length (AWL) but reduced YLD, GSP and GM2. The 1BL/1RS carrying lines’ response varied between assayed environments. Plants of drought trials were more affected by 1BL/1RS compared to others. Differences in the effects of 1BL/1RS and QTLs suggest that gene expression at translocation loci is restricted to specific environmental conditions. In general, the 1BL/1RS translocation could not be a suitable source of genetic diversity for enhancing grain yield under heat and drought stresses.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: S. Sareen, N. Bhusal, G. Singh, B.S. Tyagi, V. Tiwari, G.P. Singh, and A.K. Sarial

Heat stress is a matter of a great concern for the wheat crop. Heat stress usually either hastens crop development or shortens the grain filling duration, which severely reduces grain yield. Being a complex trait, understanding the genetics and gene interactions of stress tolerance are the two primary requirements for improving yield levels. Genetic analysis through generation mean analysis helps to find out the nature of gene actions involved in a concerned trait by providing an estimate of main gene effects (additive and dominance) along with their digenic interactions (additive × additive, additive × dominance, and dominance × dominance). In the present investigation, we elucidated the inheritance pattern of different yield contributing traits under heat stress using different cross combinations which could be helpful for selecting a suitable breeding strategy. Thus six generations of five crosses were sown normal (non-stress, TS) and late (heat stress, LS) in a randomized block design with three replications during two crop seasons. The model was not adequate for late sown conditions indicating the expression of epistatic genes under stress conditions. The traits i.e. Days to heading (DH), Days to anthesis (DA), Days to maturity (DM), Grain filling duration (GFD), Grain yield (GY), Thousand grain weight (TGW), Grain weight per spike (GWS) and Heat susceptibility index (HSI) under heat stress conditions were found under the control of additive gene action with dominance × dominance interaction, additive gene action with additive × dominance epistatic effect, dominance gene action with additive × additive interaction effect, additive and dominance gene action with dominance × dominance interaction effect, additive gene action with additive × dominance epistatic effect, additive gene action with additive × additive interaction effect and dominance gene action with additive × additive interaction effect, respectively.

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The objectives of this research were to assess the genotype × environment interaction and to identify barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genotypes with high stability for grain yield, yield components, straw height, ear length, heading time, straw yield and harvest index. Eighteen barley breeding lines and one commercial cultivar were evaluated under field conditions during five growing seasons. The trials were carried out under both rainfed and irrigated conditions during the first four years and under rainfed conditions only during the last growing season. Stability studies showed significant differences between the environments for all the traits and between the genotypes for thousand-grain weight, heading time and ear length. The genotype × environment interaction was, however, not significant according to the Finlay-Wilkinson analysis. The analysis of correlations between the various traits showed the importance of selecting for earliness, high number of grains/ear, stem height and ear length in order to obtain acceptable grain yields under drought-stressed conditions.

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Drought and high temperature are especially considered as key stress factors with high potential impact on crop yield. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of short periods of high temperature, drought and their combination at different growth stages of plant under controlled conditions. The effects of high temperature and drought on grain yield were additive. However, high temperature increased the degree of water stress and the combined effects of drought and high temperature were much more severe than those of each individual treatment. High temperature and drought applied at post- anthesis shortened duration of maturation, grain filling duration and reduced grain yield, mean grain weight, grain number and thousand-grain weight.

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