Study of heterosis in single-cross hybrids of sunflower

Mohamed Y. Mohamed, Ibrahim N. Elzein, Mohamed E. Ahmed, Abu Elhassan S. Ibrahim


This study was conducted to estimate the genetic variability and heterosis of 40 F1 hybrids of sunflower for seed yield and its components over two seasons (summer and winter) in 2007 at Sennar Research Station Farm in central Sudan. The plant material consisted of 14 sunflower parents            (4 females and 10 males) and their 40 F1-hybrids. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. The traits measured were days to 50% flowering, plant height, head diameter, number of seeds per head, one thousand seed weight and seed yield.  Hybrids showed high genetic variability for all traits studied than their parents which suggested some degree of hybrid vigor. The direction and magnitude of heterosis varied from cross to cross. Over two seasons, the average mid-parent heterosis in preferred direction and magnitude depicted that the hybrid SA2 x SR41 followed by SA3 x SR41 for days to flowering, SA1 x SR14 for plant height, SA2 x SR14 for head diameter, SA2 x SR13 followed by SA3 x SR13 for number of seeds per head, and SA3 x SR7 for one thousand seed weight. With regard to seed yield, the best hybrids with positive average heterosis were SA3 x SR41 (53.42%), SA4 x SR45 (52.75%), SA4 x SR1 (52.25%) and SA3 x SR10 (40.63%) which also combined with high seed yield of 1581 kg/ha, 1479 kg/ha, 1474 kg/ha, and 1457 kg/ha, respectively. These hybrids (involving the female line SA3 or SA4 and the male lines (SR10, SR13, SR41 and SR45) can be used in our breeding program in an attempt to develop local sunflower hybrid (s) with high seed yield and other important agronomic traits and for testing their yield potential and stability across locations and seasons. 

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