Combining abilities and elite germplasm enhancement across US public sorghum breeding programs Academic Article uri icon


  • For mature breeding programs, maintaining genetic variation in elite germplasm requires a continual assessment of the most efficient methods to maximize functional genetic variation while improving productivity. This research assessed the relative value (defined as population means and variances) derived from elite germplasm exchange between distinct public breeding programs. Ten elite A and Rlines from Texas A&M and Kansas State sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) breeding programs were crossed in a factorial design to generate 100 hybrids. Hybrid combinations were grouped to represent hybrids within and across programs. Grain yield, plant height, and days to anthesis were measured in 10 environments over 2 yr. Combining abilities and their interactions with the environment were assessed. Combined analysis detected significant effects for all traits, but genetic effects for grain yield were not consistently significant within each group of hybrid combinations. Hybrids derived from only Texas inbreds had limited genetic variation for grain yield but the highest mean of all four groups; hybrids derived from only Kansas inbreds produced moderate genetic variation but lower grain yield potential. Maximum genetic variation for grain yield and plant height occurred when Kansas Alines were crossed to Texas Rlines, whereas hybrids between Texas Alines and Kansas Rlines maximized variation for days to antheses. Results demonstrated the potential benefit from crossing elite inbred parents derived from distinct breeding programs to increase genetic variation and enhance agronomic performance.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fonseca, J., Perumal, R., Klein, P. E., Klein, R. R., & Rooney, W. L.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Fonseca, Jales MO||Perumal, Ramasamy||Klein, Patricia E||Klein, Robert R||Rooney, William L

publication date

  • November 2021