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Dissecting Bread Wheat Heterosis through the Integration of Agronomic and Physiological Traits

Abstract : To meet the challenge of feeding almost 10 billion people by 2050, wheat yield has to double by 2050. However, over the past 20 years, yield increase has slowed down and even stagnated in the main producing countries. Following the example of maize, hybrids have been suggested as a solution to overcome yield stagnation in wheat. However, wheat heterosis is still limited and poorly understood. Gaining a better understanding of hybrid vigor holds the key to breed for better varieties. To this aim, we have developed and phenotyped for physiological and agronomic traits an incomplete factorial design consisting of 91 hybrids and their nineteen female and sixteen male parents. Monitoring the plant development with normalized difference vegetation index revealed that 89% of the hybrids including the five higher yielding hybrids had a longer grain filling phase with a delayed senescence that results in larger grain size. This average increase of 7.7% in thousand kernel weight translated to a positive mid-parent heterosis for grain yield for 86% of hybrids. In addition, hybrids displayed a positive grain protein deviation leading to a +4.7% heterosis in protein yield. These results shed light on the physiological bases underlying yield heterosis in wheat, paving new ways to breed for better wheat hybrids.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 9:22:11 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 2:15:59 PM
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Kevin Gimenez, Pierre Blanc, Odile Argillier, Jean-Baptiste Pierre, Jacques Le Gouis, et al.. Dissecting Bread Wheat Heterosis through the Integration of Agronomic and Physiological Traits. Biology, MDPI 2021, 10 (9), pp.907. ⟨10.3390/biology10090907⟩. ⟨hal-03438973⟩



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