The sensitivity of sorghum to pre-flowering cold stress, resulting in reduced pollen viability and poor seed set, is a major constraint for expanding growing areas into higher altitudes and latitudes. Nevertheless, compared to juvenile cold tolerance, reproductive cold tolerance in sorghum has received much less attention so far, and very little is known about its inheritance in F1-hybrids. We have composed a representative factorial (n=49 experimental F1-hybrids) for a comprehensive study on heterosis and combining ability for crucial tolerance traits as spikelet fertility (panicle harvestindex), seed yield and pollen viability, using field trials in stress- and control environments in Germany and Mexico as well as climate chamber experiments. Our results indicate a heterotic and rather dominant inheritance of reproductive cold tolerance in sorghum, with strong effects of female general combining ability (GCA) on F1-hybrid performance in our material. These findings, together with the comparatively low contribution of specific combining ability (SCA) effects and high heritability estimates, suggest that robust and efficient enhancement of reproductive cold tolerance is feasible viahybrid breeding.
(1) (PDF) Reproductive Cold Stress Tolerance in Sorghum F1 Hybrids is a Heterotic Trait. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335627689 [accessed Feb 11 2020].