Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Impacts of Flowering Time and Tillering on Grain Yield of Sorghum Hybrids across Diverse Environments

Version 1 : Received: 17 September 2019 / Approved: 18 September 2019 / Online: 18 September 2019 (05:23:50 CEST)

How to cite: Wang, X.; Hunt, C.; Cruickshank, A.; Mace, E.; Hammer, G.; Jordan, D. The Impacts of Flowering Time and Tillering on Grain Yield of Sorghum Hybrids across Diverse Environments. Preprints 2019, 2019090198 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201909.0198.v1). Wang, X.; Hunt, C.; Cruickshank, A.; Mace, E.; Hammer, G.; Jordan, D. The Impacts of Flowering Time and Tillering on Grain Yield of Sorghum Hybrids across Diverse Environments. Preprints 2019, 2019090198 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201909.0198.v1).

Abstract

Sorghum in Australia is grown in water-limited environments of varying extent, generating substantial genotype × environment interaction (GEI). Much of the yield variation and GEI results from variations in flowering time and tillering through their effects on canopy development. The confounding effects of flowering and tillering complicate the interpretation of breeding trials. In this study, we evaluated the impacts of both flowering time (DTF) and tillering capacity (FTN) on yield of 1741 unique test hybrids derived from three common female testers in 21 yield testing trials (48 tester/trial combinations) across the major sorghum production regions in Australia in three seasons. Contributions of DTF and FTN to genetic variation in grain yield were significant in 14 and 12 tester/trial combinations, respectively. The proportion of genetic variance in grain yield explained by DTF and FTN ranged from 0.2% to 61.0% and from 1.4% to 56.9%, respectively, depending on trials and genetic background of female testers. The relationship of DTF or FTN with grain yield of hybrids was frequently positive, but varied across the genetic background of testers. Accounting for the effects of DTF and FTN using linear models did not substantially increase the between trial genetic correlations for grain yield. The results suggested that other factors affecting canopy development dynamics and grain yield might contribute GEI and/or the linear approach to account for DTF and FTN on grain yield did not capture the complex non-linear interactions.

Subject Areas

flowering time; genotype × environment interaction; grain yield; sorghum; tillering capacity; water stress

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