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Tall 3-dwarfs: oxymoron or opportunity to increase grain yield in sorghum?

George-Jaeggli, B., Lefèvre-Arbogast, S., Hunt, C., Cruickshank, A. and Jordan, D. R. (2021) Tall 3-dwarfs: oxymoron or opportunity to increase grain yield in sorghum? Planta, 253 (5). p. 110. ISSN 1432-2048

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-021-03629-w

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00425-021-03629-w

Abstract

Main conclusion: Plant height was positively correlated with grain yield across a large set of 3-dwarf sorghum hybrids and production environments in north-eastern Australia.
In industrialised countries, plant breeders tend to select for short plant stature in cereals like wheat, barley and rice, but also grain sorghum. This is mainly to prevent stalk lodging and to allow for machine harvesting. However, this counteracts an intrinsic positive relationship between plant height and yield potential often observed in cereals. We used data from multi-environment breeding trials comprising large sets of female sorghum lines from a range of pedigrees in hybrid combination with five different male testers. The hybrids were grown in 22 different rainfed environments in north-eastern Australia, which allowed us to thoroughly examine the relationship between plant height and yield across a range of productivity levels. Covariate analysis showed that in 38 out of the 90 tested relationships, grain yield was significantly (p < 0.05) positively and in only one case significantly negatively associated with plant height. This strong positive association between the traits was supported by the observation that 87% of the effects were either positive or zero. The effects of height on yield ranged from a decrease of 0.015 t ha−1 to an increase of 0.057 t ha−1 cm−1. The majority of the negative effects were observed in low-yielding trials and the positive effect of height tended to increase with increasing mean trial yield. Opportunities to increase yield potential by selecting for slightly taller sorghum hybrids therefore need to be explored in context with the target environments and in combination with other means to control the risks of lodging.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Dwarfing genes Plant height Breeding
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Deposited On:31 May 2021 06:40
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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