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J Exp Bot. 2013 Dec;64(18):5411-28. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert333. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Hybrid breeding in wheat: technologies to improve hybrid wheat seed production.

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Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Urrbrae, South Australia 5064, Australia.


Global food security demands the development and delivery of new technologies to increase and secure cereal production on finite arable land without increasing water and fertilizer use. There are several options for boosting wheat yields, but most offer only small yield increases. Wheat is an inbred plant, and hybrids hold the potential to deliver a major lift in yield and will open a wide range of new breeding opportunities. A series of technological advances are needed as a base for hybrid wheat programmes. These start with major changes in floral development and architecture to separate the sexes and force outcrossing. Male sterility provides the best method to block self-fertilization, and modifying the flower structure will enhance pollen access. The recent explosion in genomic resources and technologies provides new opportunities to overcome these limitations. This review outlines the problems with existing hybrid wheat breeding systems and explores molecular-based technologies that could improve the hybrid production system to reduce hybrid seed production costs, a prerequisite for a commercial hybrid wheat system.


CHA; Cereals; crop; fertility control; flower; heterosis; spike.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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