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Upland cotton (Gossypium hirstum L.), which produces more than 95% of the world natural cotton fibers, has a narrow genetic base which hinders progress in cotton breeding. Introducing germplasm from exotic sources especially from another cultivated tetraploid G. barbadense L. can broaden the genetic base of Upland cotton. However, the breeding potential of introgression lines (ILs) in Upland cotton with G. barbadense germplasm integration has not been well addressed. This study involved six ILs developed from an interspecific crossing and backcrossing between Upland cotton and G. barbadense and represented one of the first studies to investigate breeding potentials of a set of ILs using a full diallel analysis. High mid-parent heterosis was detected in several hybrids between ILs and a commercial cultivar, which also out-yielded the high-yielding cultivar parent in F1, F2 and F3 generations. A further analysis indicated that general ability (GCA) variance was predominant for all the traits, while specific combining ability (SCA) variance was either non-existent or much lower than GCA. The estimated GCA effects and predicted additive effects for parents in each trait were positively correlated (at P<0.01). Furthermore, GCA and additive effects for each trait were also positively correlated among generations (at P<0.05), suggesting that F2 and F3 generations can be used as a proxy to F1 in analyzing combining abilities and estimating genetic parameters. In addition, differences between reciprocal crosses in F1 and F2 were not significant for yield, yield components and fiber quality traits. But maternal effects appeared to be present for seed oil and protein contents in F3. This study identified introgression lines as good general combiners for yield and fiber quality improvement and hybrids with high heterotic vigor in yield, and therefore provided useful information for further utilization of introgression lines in cotton breeding.


Jinfa Zhang, Man Wu, Jiwen Yu, Xingli Li, Wenfeng Pei. Breeding Potential of Introgression Lines Developed from Interspecific Crossing between Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and Gossypium barbadense: Heterosis, Combining Ability and Genetic Effects. PloS one. 2016;11(1):e0143646

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PMID: 26730964

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