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Extending the rapeseed gene pool with resynthesized Brassica napus II: Heterosis

Girke, Andreas, Schierholt, Antje, Becker, Heiko C.
Theoretical and applied genetics 2012 v.124 no.6 pp. 1017-1026
Brassica napus var. napus, crossing, cultivars, genes, genetic background, genetic distance, genetic markers, genetic variation, heterosis, hybrids, lipid content, parents, protein content, rapeseed, seed oils
Hybrid breeding relies on the combination of parents from two differing heterotic groups. However, the genetic diversity in adapted oilseed rape breeding material is rather limited. Therefore, the use of resynthesized Brassica napus as a distant gene pool was investigated. Hybrids were derived from crosses between 44 resynthesized lines with a diverse genetic background and two male sterile winter oilseed rape tester lines. The hybrids were evaluated together with their parents and check cultivars in 2 years and five locations in Germany. Yield, plant height, seed oil, and protein content were monitored, and genetic distances were estimated with molecular markers (127 polymorphic RFLP fragments). Resynthesized lines varied in yield between 40.9 dt/ha and 21.5 dt/ha, or between 85.1 and 44.6% of check cultivar yields. Relative to check cultivars, hybrids varied from 91.6 to 116.6% in yield and from 94.5 to 103.3% in seed oil content. Mid-parent heterosis varied from −3.5 to 47.2% for yield. The genetic distance of parental lines was not significantly correlated with heterosis or hybrid yield. Although resynthesized lines do not meet the elite rapeseed standards, they are a valuable source for hybrid breeding due to their large distance from present breeding material and their high heterosis when combined with European winter oilseed rape.