BREEDING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ONION HYBRIDS IN INDIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

C.S. Pathak, R.V. Gowda
Onion is one of the pioneer crops in which heterosis has been commercially exploited for the past four decades. Although India is one of the leading onion producers, not much emphasis was given to heterosis breeding in the past. Very few workers attempted to test different hybrid combinations for heterosis and combining ability. One of the main components required for the exploitation of heterosis in onion is the availability of male sterility. Exotic male-sterile lines were found unsuitable in the short photoperiodic environments of India.

Male sterility from indigenous source was found in cultivar Nasik White Globe at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore. Further studies indicated that a strong cytoplasmic factor was responsible for male sterility in this cultivar. The male sterility has been successfully transferred to six different genotypes which are now being used for exploiting heterosis. Out of 75 test crosses evaluated for bulb yield and quality, two were found promising. These two promising hybrids, Hybrid-1 (MS65 x SI 13–1–1–1) and Hybrid-5 (MS48 x SI 14–1–1–1), have been identified for commercial use, with high bulb yields (45–50 t/ha) and good-quality bulbs.

Pathak, C.S. and Gowda, R.V. (1994). BREEDING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ONION HYBRIDS IN INDIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS. Acta Hortic. 358, 239-242
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.358.39
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.358.39

Acta Horticulturae