Genetic Progress Through Hybridization of Induced and Natural Tetraploids in Crested Wheatgrass
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CitationAsay, K. H., Dewey, D. R., Gomm, F. B., Horton, W. H., & Jensen, K. B. (1986). Genetic progress through hybridization of induced and natural tetraploids in crested wheatgrass. Journal of Range Management, 39(3), 261-263.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractBecause of restrictions imposed by crossing barriers, crested wheatgrass breeders have usually limited themselves to selection and hybridization within ploidy levels i.e., diploid (2n=14), tetraploid (2n=28), or hexaploid (2n=42) populations. Several procedures have now been devised and evaluated to transfer genetic traits among ploidy levels, and interploidy breeding appears to be a feasible approach in the crested wheatgrass complex. Plant scientists with the USDA-ARS at Utah State University have developed a superior breeding population by hybridizing induced tetraploid Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn. with natural tetraploid A. desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schult. The cultivar 'Hycrest' was released from this germplasm base in 1984. Chromosome number of the Hycrest breeding population ranged from 2n=28 to 32 and averaged 30. Chromosome pairing relationships were similar to those observed in natural tetraploids and the cultivar was as fertile as the parental species. Hycrest produced significantly more seeds per spike than 'Nordan,' and ample genetic variability for seed set existed in the population to make additional improvement through selection. Hycrest produced significantly (P<0.05) more forage than Nordan and Fairway in 9 of 12 comparisons at 5 semiarid range sites. The superiority of the cultivar was most noteworthy during and immediately after stand establishment on harsh sites. The need to expand the genetic base of the present population with selected parental materials is recognized.