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Single seed descent as a breeding method for swedes (Brassica napus L. var. napobrassica Peterm)

Bradshaw, John E., Titley, Martin, Wilson, Ralph N.
Euphytica 2009 v.169 no.3 pp. 387-401
variety trials, cultivars, hybrids, vernalization, Brassica napus subsp. rapifera, plant density, dry matter accumulation, inbreeding, plant genetic resources, methodology, selfing, rutabagas, artificial selection
The results are presented of two single seed descent (SSD) breeding programmes for swedes (Brassica napus L. var. napobrassica Peterm). The first programme produced cultivar Virtue and was done as part of a research programme on heterosis. It involved the production and trialling in 1991 of 95 F₆ families from a single cross made in 1985 between lines derived from cultivars Criffel and Marian. Six F₆ families were mass multiplied in polythene tunnels in 1992, using blowflies as pollinators, and trialled in 1993 and 1994 before Virtue was entered into National List (NL) trials in 1995. The second programme was done as a commercially funded breeding programme and involved the production and trialling in 1999 of 1,037 F₆ families from 15 crosses made in 1993. Fifty F₆ families were advanced to F₇ in a glasshouse in 2000 and assessed in 2001. Six F₇ families were mass multiplied in polythene tunnels in 2002 and trialled in 2003. Two cultivars, Gowrie and Lomond, from the cross between Airlie and Invitation, were produced from the programme and entered NL trials in 2004. The SSD was traditional in the sense that each advanced family was descended from a different F₂ plant without selection and a glasshouse was used for the selfing generations. However, it differed from the schemes that have been operated for soybean and spring cereals in that it was not possible to grow two or three generations a year because of the vernalization requirements of swedes, and it was not possible to grow a large number of plants at really high density because the inflorescences needed to be covered with Glassine bags to prevent cross pollination. In yield trials over 4 years, Gowrie had the highest dry-matter yield (12.59 t/ha) of the three new cultivars, out yielded Magres (11.28 t/ha) and other shopping swedes, but was not as high yielding as cultivar Kenmore (13.44 t/ha) which had been produced by pedigree inbreeding with selection. A modified SSD breeding scheme is recommended in which family selection is practised at F₃.