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Advances in lentil production through heterosis: Evaluating generations and breeding systems

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Version 2 2023-11-08, 04:25
Version 1 2022-06-21, 07:00
journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-08, 04:25 authored by Gurpreet Suri, Shivraj Braich, DM Noy, GM Rosewarne, Noel CoganNoel Cogan, S Kaur, Sukhjiwan KaurSukhjiwan Kaur
Heterosis is defined as increased performance of the F1 hybrid relative to its parents. In the current study, a cohort of populations and parents were created to evaluate and understand heterosis across generations (i.e., F1 to F3) in lentil, a self-pollinated annual diploid (2n = 2× = 14) crop species. Lentil plants were evaluated for heterotic traits in terms of plant height, biomass fresh weight, seed number, yield per plant and 100 grain weight. A total of 47 selected lentil genotypes were cross hybridized to generate 72 F1 hybrids. The F1 hybrids from the top five crosses exhibited between 31%-62% heterosis for seed number with reference to the better parent. The five best performing heterotic crosses were selected with a negative control for evaluation at the subsequent F2 generation and only the tails of the distribution taken forward to be assessed in the F3 generation as a sub selection. Overall, heterosis decreases across the subsequent generations for all traits studied. However, some individual genotypes were identified at the F2 and sub-selected F3 generations with higher levels of heterosis than the best F1 mean value (hybrid mimics). The phenotypic data for the selected F2 and sub selected F3 hybrids were analysed, and the study suggested that 100 grain weight was the biggest driver of yield followed by seed number. A genetic diversity analysis of all the F1 parents failed to correlate genetic distance and divergence among parents with heterotic F1's. Therefore, genetic distance was not a key factor to determine heterosis in lentil. The study highlights the challenges associated with different breeding systems for heterosis (i.e., F1 hybrid-based breeding systems and/or via hybrid mimics) but demonstrates the potential significant gains that could be achieved in lentil productivity.


The authors are thankful to National Lentil Breeding Programme funded by GRDC (Grains Research and Development Corporation), and Agriculture Victoria (Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, State Government of Victoria, Australia) for providing the facilities and supporting germplasm to conduct this research.


Publication Date







2 February

Article Number

ARTN e0262857




Public Library of Science (PLoS)



Rights Statement

© 2022 Suri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.