The relationship between grain yield and waxy endosperm in Sorghum bicolor (Linn.) Moench
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In sorghum, a single recessive gene Wx conditions waxy endosperm type. While parental inbred lines and hybrids with waxy endosperm have been developed, there has been little to no adoption of these hybrids by producers, primarily because waxy hybrids consistently yield 5-10% less than non-waxy hybrids and end-use buyers will not pay for the utilization benefits. While current waxy germplasm does not yield competitively at this time, there is a question as to whether the yield reduction is due to a negative relationship between waxy per se or due to the lack of effort to develop high yielding waxy germplasm. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between the waxy endosperm phenotype and grain yield in sorghum. From each of two F2 breeding populations segregating for waxy endosperm, 50 inbred lines were derived, selected only for homozygosity of endosperm type. No selection for yield was practiced during the development of these lines. Approximately 25 waxy and 25 non-waxy lines were selected for further evaluation from each population. These lines and a set of testcross hybrids were evaluated in four environments. When combined across environments and populations, waxy inbred lines and hybrids yielded 17% less than non-waxy inbred lines and hybrids. However, analysis of the individual inbred lines and hybrids indicated that several waxy inbred lines were competitive in yield with the best non-waxy genotypes. The results indicate that it should be possible to develop waxy hybrids that are competitive in yield, but that this will require additional breeding efforts to identify the correct inbred lines and hybrids.
Aydin, Selahattin (2003). The relationship between grain yield and waxy endosperm in Sorghum bicolor (Linn.) Moench. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from