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Genotype×environment interaction studies highlight the role of phenology in specific adaptation of canola (Brassica napus) to contrasting Mediterranean climates

Zhang, H., Berger, J.D. and Milroy, S.P.ORCID: 0000-0002-3889-7058 (2013) Genotype×environment interaction studies highlight the role of phenology in specific adaptation of canola (Brassica napus) to contrasting Mediterranean climates. Field Crops Research, 144 . pp. 77-88.

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While genotype (G) × environment (E) interaction (G × E) complicates broad crop adaptation, understanding its causes facilitates breeding for specific adaptation. South-western Australia captures a broad range of Mediterranean climates, from a very warm short season with low rainfall in the north and east to a longer season with high rainfall in the southwest, and provides a unique opportunity to investigate G × E interaction. In this study, we evaluate G × E interaction for seed yield and oil content of canola genotypes with wide ranging phenology across south-western Australia.

Environments were separated into year (Y) and location (L) and a factor analytic (FA) model used to partition G × E interactions into G × Y, G × L and G × Y × L across four years (2006–2009). G × E interaction contributed 34% to total variance of seed yield compared with 9% for G. An additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) model was used to further evaluate the significance of G × L, and delineate mega-environments (ME) and determine the best performing cultivar in each year. AMMI identified two MEs with different seasonal climates. ME1 combines >330 mm seasonal rainfall with a cooler, longer post-anthesis growing period. ME2 is more terminally drought-prone, with higher temperatures and <300 mm rainfall, resulting in a short growing season. There were significant crossover yield responses to location changes: the medium flowering genotypes produced significantly higher yield than the early flowering genotypes in ME1 but yielded poorly in ME2, and vice versa. In contrast to yield, G effects were very strong in oil content, accounting for 53% of total variance, compared with 14% for G × Y, and negligible G × L effects. Finlay–Wilkinson regression showed little crossover interaction in oil content with E. The key outcome of this G × E interaction study is the importance of phenology to the adaptation of canola in south-western Australia. Therefore, it is suggested that breeding for specific adaptation to each mega-environment should be targeted with a breeding strategy focusing on drought and heat tolerance in ME2 and high yield potential in ME1.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.
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