Identification of heterosis and combining ability in the hybrids of male sterile and restorer sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] lines.

Zhang Y, Chen J, Gao Z, Wang H, Liang D, Guo Q, Zhang X, Fan X, Wu Y, Liu Q

Published: 3 January 2024 in PloS one
Keywords: No keywords in Pubmed
Pubmed ID: 38166022
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0296416

In sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], combining ability and heterosis analysis are commonly used to evaluate superior parental lines and to screen for strongly heterotic hybrids, which helps in sorghum variety selection and breeding. In this context, combining ability and heterosis analysis were assessed using 14 restorer lines and seven cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) lines in 2019 and 2020. The analysis of variance of all cross combinations had highly significant differences for all characters studied, which indicated a wide variation across the parents, lines, testers, and crosses. Combining ability analysis showed that the general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) of the different parents were differed significantly among different traits. Most combinations with high SCA also showed high GCA in their parent lines. The heritability in the narrow sense of grain weight per panicle and grain yield was relatively low, indicating that the ability of these traits to be directly inherited by offspring was weak, that they were greatly affected by the environment. The better-parent heterosis for plant height, grain weight per panicle, panicle length, and 1000-grain weight was consistent with the order of mid-parent heterosis from strong to weak. The GCA effects of two lines 10480A, 3765A and three testers 0-30R, R111, and JY15R were significant for the majority of the agronomic traits including grain yield and might be used for improving the yield of grains in sorghum as parents of excellent specific combining ability. Seven strongly heterotic F1 hybrids were screened; of these, hybrids 3765A × R111, 1102A × L2R, and 3765A × JY15R showed significant increases in seed iristectorigenin A content and will feature into the creation of new sorghum varieties rich in iristectorigenin A.