Fruiting efficiency: an alternative trait to further rise wheat yield
Gustavo A. Slafer, Mónica Elia, Roxana Savin, Guillermo A. García, Ignacio I. Terrile, Ariel Ferrante, Daniel J. Miralles and Fernanda G. González
Article first published online: 28 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/fes3.59
Fruiting efficiency (grains set per unit of spike dry weight at anthesis) is an alternative trait to further increase grain number and yield. We described fruiting efficiency and its physiological bases, analyzed genetic variation, and considered potential drawbacks that must be taken into account to avoid increases in fruiting efficiency being compensated by other traits. Interestingly, this trait not only presents genetic variation within elite material and shows transgressive segregation but also seem to be responsive to selection; which is illustrated in the scheme, describing the outcomes of an experimental divergent selection for (a proxy of) fruiting efficiency. There was a positive response to selection, enlarged throughout the generations, which produced individual plants with enhanced reproductive output which did translate into the performance at the crop level of organization.