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Importance of appropriate selection environments for breeding maize adapted to organic farming systems

Messmer, Monika M.; Burger, Henriette; Schmidt, Walter and Geiger, Hartwig H. (2010) Importance of appropriate selection environments for breeding maize adapted to organic farming systems. In: Tagungsband der 60. Jahrestagung der Vereinigung der Pflanzenzüchter und Saatgutkaufleute Österreichs. Züchtung und Genressourcen gegen abiotische Stressfaktoren - Markergestützte Selektion in der Praxis. Höhere Bundeslehr- und Forschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft Raumberg-Gumpenstein, A-Irdning, pp. 49-51.

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Online at: http://www.raumberg-gumpenstein.at/c/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=3628&Itemid=100014#page=53


Organic farming systems, characterized by special attention to soil fertility, recycling techniques and low external inputs, gained increased significance in recent years. As a consequence, there is a growing demand for varieties adapted to organic and/or low input farming. The objectives of the present study were to (i) compare the testcross performance of segregating maize (Zea mays) populations under established organic (OF) and conventional farming (CF) systems, (ii) determine quantitative genetic parameters decisive for the selection response under OF vs CF conditions, and (iii) draw conclusions for breeding new varieties optimally adapted to OF. Testcross performance of four different material groups of preselected lines (90 lines per group) derived from early European breeding material was assessed under OF and CF in three different geographic regions in Germany in 2008. Grain yields under OF were 3 to 18% lower than under CF in the individual experiments depending on the test region and, to a lesser extent, on the genetic material. On average, grain dry matter yield under OF was 1077 g m-2 compared to 1186 g m-2 under CF. Phenotypic correlations between OF and CF were small or moderate for grain yield in each of the four material groups (0.22 to 0.45), while strong and highly significant correlations were found for dry matter content (0.89 to 0.94). Genotypes with top grain yields under OF often did not show this superiority under CF and vice versa. Despite considerable heterogeneity of the OF test sites, the heritability for grain yield was in the same order of magnitude under OF and CF. It is concluded that test sites managed by OF are indispensable for making maximum progress in developing maize varieties for these conditions.

EPrint Type:Book chapter
Keywords:Genotype by farming system interaction, indirect selection, organic farming, testcross performance, Zea mays, Bodenwissenschaften, Biosaatgut, Pflanzenzüchtung
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Crop husbandry > Breeding, genetics and propagation
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil Sciences
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/de/schweiz/forschung/bodenwissenschaften.html, http://www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/research/soil-sciences.html
Deposited By: Messmer, Dr. Monika
ID Code:17864
Deposited On:26 Oct 2010 09:10
Last Modified:16 Dec 2011 12:09
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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