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Keywords:

  • ×Triticosecale;
  • F1 hybrids;
  • F2 hybrids;
  • heterosis;
  • hybrid triticale;
  • yield components

Abstract

Triticale is generally treated as a self-pollinating crop and line breeding is practised. Hybrid breeding has been discussed for some time, but there is little information for winter triticale. This study investigated heterosis for eight agronomic traits in F1 and F2 hybrids grown together with their parents as drilled plots in three environments. On average, grain yield heterosis was 12.5 dt/ha (a relative 10.5%) compared with the mid-parent value for F1 hybrids, and 6.2 dt/ha (5.0%) for F2 hybrids and withawide range of 4.4–17.1 dt/ha for F1 hybrids. A positive contribution to the heterosis of yield was made by kernels/spike and 1000-kernel weight, whereas spikes/m2 showed negative heterosis. Hybrid plants in F1 and F2 were taller than mid-parents (8.3 cm and 5.3 cm, respectively), with a tendency to earlier heading. The negative heterosis for falling number in F1 and F2 hybrids could be a problem for commercial production of triticale hybrids. By selecting parents for combining ability and the identification of heterotic patterns, grain yield heterosis of 20% appears feasible.