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II. Breeding and Research in Eastern Europe

II. Breeding and Research in Eastern Europe

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FIG.2A. Development of octoploid triticale.

Fro. 2B. Octoploid triticale and its parental forms.



FIG. 3A. Development of primary hexaploid triticale.

FIG.3B. Hexaploid triticale and its parental forms.



female parent in crosses to Hungarian rye varieties, he obtained his first

primary hexaploid triticale in 1951 (Kiss, 1965). In 1952 he produced

a primary octoploid, using local varieties of bread wheat and rye. He

started crossing octoploid and hexaploid triticale in 1954 and obtained a

secondary hexaploid that was more productive than either of the parental

forms in 1960. It was too susceptible to lodging to be suitable as a commercial crop. In 1958 he reported “that most of the results obtained by researchers in triticale from the standpoint of production, fertility, seed type

and cytological stability would lead one to accept that the idea of producing

a highly fertile amphiploid competitive with other cereals as being completely illusory.”

At that time it was very difficult to justify a practical breeding program

in triticale. However, Kiss succeeded in developing secondary hexaploids

with improved fertility from octoploid x hexaploid triticale crosses. This

encouraged him to continue breeding work on this crop. In 1965, selections

from crosses between secondary octoploids and secondary hexaploids were

increased and tested in national yield trials. From this source, two secondary hexaploids, Triticale No. 57 and No. 64, were released for commercial

production in Hungary. It is believed that these were the first triticale varieties to be grown commercially. These varieties could be grown on sandy

soil, where they were competitive with rye in grain production but were

not as resistant as rye to frost damage. Top yield of about 7 tons per hectare have been obtained from commercial plantings under favorable


The success of Kiss in the improvement of triticale has stimulated

workers in all Central European countries to include triticale in their cereal

breeding program. Kiss (1973) reported that, as a feed grain, triticale is

equivalent to other cereals for poultry and hogs provided that the grain

is free of ergot. In spite of laboratory results indicating that satisfactory

bread can be made from triticale grain and that the protein content is higher

than that of wheat, triticafe bread has not been produced commercially

in Hungary. Triticale is classified as a feed grain and is competitive with

rye, but not with bread wheat.



V. Pissarev working in Eastern Siberia first attempted to produce

amphiploids of wheat X rye cross about 25 years before colchicine was introduced as a chromosome doubling agent. All attempts ended in failure

due to sterility in F,. In 1940, he renewed his efforts to produce rye-wheat

amphiploids and after one year had obtained 23 primary octoploids (Pissarev, 1963). In 1959 work on the development of hexaploid triticale was



initiated. He soon found the fertility and plant type to be considerably

more advantageous than that encountered in octoploids. In the early 1960's

secondary hexaploids were being produced from crosses between octoploid

and hexaploid triticales; these secondary forms were found to be more

promising than either of the primary forms. A program to introduce

winter hardiness in triticale was started in 1962 because winter cereals

have a competitive advantage over spring types in Western Russia.

Considerable breeding and research work is being carried on in the

U.S.S.R., as evidenced by the contributions to the Triticale Conference

at Leningrad, sponsored by EUCARPIA, in July 1973. Unfortunately, the

proceedings from this conference were not available to the author at the

time of writing.

A. F. Shulyndin conducts an active triticale improvement program at

Kharkov. Most of the material comprises hexaploid winter types. He reported that strains were now being increased for farm-scale production,

although he estimated that only a few thousand hectares were being grown

commercially in Russia in 1973.


Breeding and Research in Western Europe

Triticale research has been conducted in Sweden, Spain, Germany, and

Switzerland for several decades. More recently, institutions in Britain,

France, Denmark, and other countries have also become involved in triticale research and improvement.


Research on triticale was started at the University of Lund, Sweden,

by Dr. A. Muntzing in 1931, and he has directed a triticale research program to the present time. In the early years his major interests were in

the areas of cytology and genetics. Breeding work was maintained on a

limited basis during most of this period. A summary of his early work

on triticale improvement was published in 1939. Numerous research publications provide a history of research achievements under his guidance. A

general summary of triticale improvement work was prepared and dedicated to his colleague Dr. H. Stubbe on the occasion of his 70th birthday

in 1972.

Muntzing found that the rye genome had a very definite influence in

octoploid triticale: the seeds and spikes had some resemblence to rye;

winter hardiness of rye was evident in winter triticale; its adaptation to

sandy soil is similar to that of rye. It was observed that fertility and yield



were reduced in the primary types but could be improved by selection in

the progenies of secondary forms. Muntzing found that some triticale

strains of the same ploidy leveI were usually difficult to hybridize. The

same phenomenon was later observed in other programs. Research on industrial and biochemical properties was maintained with the cooperation

of the Svalov Experiment Station.

Agronomic improvement of octoploid winter triticales was advanced to

a level almost equaling that of the best bread wheats in grain yield. The

most promising material was derived from crosses of his octoploids with

similar types obtained from Dr. M. Ingold of Switzerland. The best selections were found to be well adapted to the lighter soils, but they tended

to lodge readily on heavier soils. The grain quality was not generally accepted by industry for bread making.

With increased interest in hexaploid triticale, Muntzing has increased

his efforts to produce new secondary forms from crosses between octoploid

and hexaploid triticale. In an effort to broaden the genetic base of triticale,

crosses between octoploid winter and hexaploid spring triticales have been

made. Populations from early generations of these crosses have been sent

to the CIMMYT triticale program in Mexico. Selections for all four combinations of growth habit and ploidy level are being made at both locations.

In an effort to improve the grain quality and test weight of triticale, seeds

from the Swedish and CIMMYT programs were treated with different mutagens by Dr. Ake Gustaffson. Selection work from this program is still continuing on a cooperative basis.



SAnchez-Monge introduced triticale research to Spain in 1950 and has

been actively engaged in triticale improvement ever since. New primary

hexaploids were developed using different species of tetraploid wheat as

parents (1956). He soon found that the hexaploids performed better than

the octoploid forms and suggested that the chromosome number is closer

to the optimum in the hexaploids (1959). Improvement in fertility was

obtained among the progenies of amphiploids involving self-fertile strains

of rye as male parents. He was not able to demonstrate an improvement

in cross-compatibility from wheat embryos grafted onto rye endosperm,

as was suggested by Pissarev and Vinogradova in 1944. Mutation research

has been undertaken more recently. SBnchez-Monge ( 1973) reported that

seed with smoother endosperm was obtained among the progenies of plants

irradiated in an gamma field with 1500-3000 r. He reported (1973) on

the use of cytoplasm for Aegilops species and Triticum timopheevi to develop cytoplasmic male sterile triticales for producing commercial hybrids.

A hexaploid triticale cultivar CACHIRULO was released for commercial pro-

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