Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment


The Suitability of Vegetative and Generative Characteristics as Selection Criteria for the Breeding Aim "Simultaneous Use of Oil and Fibre" in Flax


The possibility of combining the performance of vegetative and generative characteristics in flax and the suitability of those characteristics as selection criteria were investigated. The correlation coefficients show that it is possible to combine vegetative (fibre) and generative yield (oil) by means of plant breeding.

Because of a large genotypic variation and small genotype-environment-interaction height and thousand grain weight are the best selection criteria, especially in early generations. Oil content (influence of harvest date) and straw yield, fibre content and fibre yield (these vegetative characteristics are mainly influenced by seed rate and genotype-seed rate-interaction) follow. Oil yield, grain yield and seeds per plant show the greatest influence of environment and genotype-environment-interaction. The consequences of these results on selection are discussed.

The inheritance of the vegetative characteristics is predominantly determined by additive gene effects, whereas the generative characteristics also show large dominance effects, which have to be taken into account in early generation selection.

Heterosis can be used in hybrid breeding of oil seed flax; for fibre flax, breeding and developing lines which combine oil and fibre, the conventional pedigree method is most suitable.