Hybridising of Oats Utilising Chemical Hybridising Agents
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Data pertaining to the performance of F1 oat (Avena spp.) hybrids compared to commercial cultivars or parental lines are limited. Almost all oat heterosis studies have been based on small numbers of space-planted F1 hybrid plants grown from hand-crossed seeds. Space-planted experiments probably do not give realistic estimates of heterosis, since parents and hybrids may not perform as they would in competitive stands. It is likely that heterosis estimates will be somewhat ‘inflated’ in space-planted tests, since environmental constraints to high yield on a per-plant basis are minimised. It also is likely that the relative contribution of various grain-yield components would be very different for space-planted and ‘full-stand’ trials. For example, it is certain that ‘spaced’ plants of winter-type oats produce a much higher number of functional tillers than plants grown in full stands. Hybrids having outstanding tillering capacity might exhibit most of their grain yield heterosis in terms of this yield component in space-planted tests. However in full-stand trials, this yield component likely would be expressed more moderately, and the other yield components might account for a larger proportion of heterosis for grain yield.
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