Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Because of the difficulty of producing F1 hybrid seeds by hand emasculation and pollination, wide use of heterosis in cotton production has been limited in China. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of F2 hybrids for yield and fibre quality. A half diallel involving eight parents and their F1 and F2 hybrids was grown in replicated studies at Linqing and Nanjing in 1999 and Nanjing in 2000. Yield and fibre quality was determined for all 64 entries. Fibre quality was also determined for parents and F1s, but only for Zhongmiansuo 28 (ZMS28), Xiangzamian 2 (XZM2) and Wanmian 13 (WM13) F2s. These three F2 hybrids are extensively planted in China and provide experimental controls with which to compare the performance of new hybrids. Average yield heterosis for F1s and F2s was 15.9 and 9.2%, respectively. Inbreeding depression for yield varied but some F2s greatly out-yielded the best variety. Average F1 heterosis was 6.7, 6.2 and 2.9%, respectively for number of bolls per unit area, boll weight, and lint percentage. The average F2 heterosis for the same traits was 4.4, 3.3 and 1.6%, respectively. F1 heterosis for fibre traits was low. In general, parental average was a good indicator of the yield and fibre quality of F1 hybrids. These encouraging results suggest there is sufficient heterosis for yield to use F2s in China.
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