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Agronomy 2016, 6(4), 49; doi:10.3390/agronomy6040049

Evidence for Heterosis in Italian Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) Based on Inbreeding Depression in F2 Generation Offspring from Biparental Crosses

1
Agriculture Victoria, Biosciences Research, Hamilton Centre, Hamilton, Victoria 3300, Australia
2
Agriculture Victoria, Biosciences Research, AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience, Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia
3
School of Applied Systems Biology, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter Langridge
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 27 October 2016
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Abstract

Italian ryegrass is one of the most important temperate forage grasses on a global basis. Improvement of both dry matter yield and quality of herbage have been major objectives of pasture grass breeding over the last century. F1 and F2 progeny sets derived from controlled pair-crosses between selected Italian ryegrass genotypes have been evaluated for yield and nutritive quality under field conditions. Linear regression of the performance of F1 families under sward conditions on parental genotype means in a spaced plant trial was significant for quality characteristics, but not for herbage yield. This result suggests that phenotypic selection of individual plants from spaced plant nursery is feasible for improvement of nutritive quality traits, but not for yield. The presence of significant heterosis within F1 populations was demonstrated by reduced herbage production in subsequent F2 populations (generated by one cycle of full-sib mating), an up to 22.1% total herbage yield in fresh weight, and a 30.5% survival rate at the end of the second reproductive cycle. Potential optimal crosses for exploiting such heterosis are discussed, based on construction and the inter-mating of complementary parental pools, for the implementation of a novel F1 hybrid production strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: herbage quality; herbage yield; hybrid; heterosis; inbreeding herbage quality; herbage yield; hybrid; heterosis; inbreeding
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Wang, J.; Pembleton, L.W.; Cogan, N.O.I.; Forster, J.W. Evidence for Heterosis in Italian Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) Based on Inbreeding Depression in F2 Generation Offspring from Biparental Crosses. Agronomy 2016, 6, 49.

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