Identifying essential test locations for oat breeding in eastern Canada.

Yan, W., Frégeau-Reid, J.A., Pageau, D., Martin, R.A., Mitchell Fetch, J.W., Etienne, M., Rowsell, J., Scott, P., Price, M., De Haan, B., Cummiskey, A., Lajeunesse, J., Durand, J., and Sparry, E. (2010). "Identifying essential test locations for oat breeding in eastern Canada.", Crop Science, 50(2), pp. 504-515. doi : 10.2135/cropsci2009.03.0133  Access to full text

Abstract

The oat (Avena sativa L.) breeding program at the Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre of Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada has the responsibility to breed new oat cultivars for producers in eastern Canada, which includes Ontario, Québec, and the Atlantic provinces. A 3-yr multilocation test was conducted to understand the genotype x location interaction patterns and the relationships among test locations in eastern Canada. A genotype + genotype x environment interaction biplot analysis of yield data revealed three distinct oat mega-environments in eastern Canada: (i) northern Ontario, (ii) southern and eastern Ontario, and (iii) Québec and Atlantic Canada. To breed for all mega-environments, initial yield screening must be conducted at locations representing each of these mega-environments. Based on the relationships among test locations, six essential test locations were identified: three in Ontario, two in Québec, and one in Atlantic Canada. Testing at all six locations appeared to provide a good coverage of the whole oat-growing area in eastern Canada. Based on these findings, a breeding and test strategy was developed. This includes conducting initial yield screening at three locations in Ontario, Québec, and Atlantic Canada, followed by a formal yield test at all six essential test locations. Specifically adapted genotypes selected from this test will then be tested in the Registration Tests in their respectively adapted subregions.