Two new hybrid lines showing promise

Hybrid update Fish Pond 19JPG

Workers at the Rice Research Station drag a rope across breeding plots of hybrid rice to induce cross pollination. Photo by Jessica Thornton and Tara Roy.

Research into hybrid rice at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station is progressing, with two hybrids, LAH169 and CLH161, showing promise as commercial releases, said rice geneticist Jim Oard.

“Both hybrids continue to show good yields and good grain quality across multiple locations,” Oard said.

He said LAH169 had an average yield, exceeding 9,000 pounds per acre in the Uniform Regional Nursery, a cooperative test among six rice-growing states. In a commercial advanced test, it yielded almost 9,500 pounds with good milling.

This past year, both hybrids showed low levels of disease, especially smuts that affected conventional varieties, he said.

The hybrid yield testing of LAH169 showed a 23% yield advantage over elite varieties and a 20% to 23% advantage over CL153 and CL111.

CLH161 had a 9,750-pound yield in the commercial advanced testing and more than 10,000 pounds in the Uniform Regional Nursery test at the rice research station. Another test showed a 24% yield advantage over CL153.

Five new hybrid lines grown in small plots at the station produced yields exceeding some commercial hybrids, Oard said.

Three new hybrid lines in an observational trial had high yields with good disease resistance.

“We continue to develop our parents for the hybrids, both males and females,” Oard said.

He said the hybrid project continues to make improvements in seed production by working with seeding rates, gibberillic acid, planting dates and planting configurations.

“Getting high yields for the farmers is obviously important, but it is not enough,” he said. “The breeding program also needs to identify parental combinations that consistently produce the hybrid seed at commercially acceptable levels.”

In a separate study with Adam Famoso, LSU AgCenter rice breeder, one inbred line showed good levels of sheath blight resistance and produced yields exceeding CL111 and CL153.

Oard said with climate change creating potential problems for rice farmers, this line could help develop a new variety that could withstand disease pressure like what farmers faced in 2019.

“This line might be a good candidate to help accomplish that goal,” he said.

12/19/2019 9:04:40 PM
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