Heterotic groups of onions (Allium cepa L.) for the development of low-pungency hybrids

Grupos heteróticos en cebolla (Allium cepa L.) para el desarrollo de híbridos con baja pungencia

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Fátima Rosangela de Souza Saraiva
Rita Carolina de Melo
Paulo Henrique Cerutti
Jefferson Luís Meirelles Coimbra
Daniel Pedrosa Alves
Altamir Frederico Guidolin

Abstract

The growing demand for low-pungency cultivars onion has opened new market niches. The objective of this study was to characterize heterotic onion groups to develop low-pungency hybrid cultivars. A field experiment with a randomized block design and two factors (genotype and fertilization) arranged in split plots was carried out in Ituporanga-SC (Brazil), in 2019. The plots corresponded to two fertilization levels (with and without sulfur), and the subplots corresponded to 26 onion genotypes, where the germplasm was derived from different (male-sterile-LA and maintainer-LB) lines, advanced populations and cultivars. The bulbs were evaluated for the following traits: pyruvic acid (indicator of pungency), sulfur content and bulb yield. The genotype performance differed according to the fertilization level. In the sulfur-free treatments, four heterotic groups were identified. The genetic variation in the crosses LA11 × LB24 and LA15 × LB19 could be exploited for negative selection for pungency and positive selection for bulb yield.

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