Genetic improvement of triticale for irrigated systems in south-eastern Australia: a study of genotype and genotype x environment interactions
Research into winter cereal breeding in Australia has focused primarily on studying the effects of rainfed environments. These studies typically show large genotype x environment (GE) interactions, and the complexity of these interactions acts as an impediment to the efficient selection of improved varieties. Wheat has been studied extensively; however, there are no published studies on the GE interactions of triticale in Australia under irrigated production systems. We conducted trials on 101 triticale genotypes at two locations over 4 years under intensive irrigated management practices and measured the yield potential, GE interactions, heritability and estimated genetic gain of yield, lodging resistance and several other traits important for breeding triticale. We found that high yield potential exceeding 10 t ha-1 exists in the Australian germplasm tested and that, in these irrigated trials, genotype accounted for a high proportion of the variability in all measured traits. All genetic parameters such as heritability and estimated genetic gain were high compared with rainfed studies. Breeding of triticale with improved yield and lodging resistance for irrigated environments is achievable and can be pursued with confidence in breeding programs.