The effect of major dwarfing genes on yield potential in spring wheats

R. A. Fischer*, K. J. Quail

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


A composite convergent cross of 16 spring wheat parents produced a set of unselected progeny lines among which the major dwarfing genes, Rht1, Rht2 and Rht3, were distributed against a common random genetic background. Random subsets of these lines were grown under irrigation and optimal conditions in 4 experiments with replicated bordered plots in southern New South Wales in order to measure the dwarfing gene effect on yield potential. The dwarfing gene composition of each line was determined by test crossing and seedling responsiveness to gibberellic acid. Lodging was negligible in the two experiments in 1982. While present in the two in 1983, it was not strongly associated with yield. Grain yield levels were appropriately high (mean 5.9 t/ha). In all but 1 experiment the Rht1+Rht2 dwarf genotypes gave highest yields while the Rht3 group yielded on average 3% lower, Rht2 9% lower, Rht1 11% lower, and the non-dwarf or tall group yielded 24% lower. These yield differences were positively associated with harvest index, kernels per m2 and kernels per spike, but negatively associated with mature plant height. Even within major dwarfing gene classes, grain yield was significantly and negatively associated with height.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • dwarfing genes
  • Norin-10
  • selection
  • Tom Thumb
  • Triticum aestivum
  • wheat
  • yield components
  • yield potential


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