, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 307–317 | Cite as

Farmer participatory evaluation confirms higher grain yields in spring wheat using a selection index for spot blotch resistance, maturity and kernel weight

  • Ram C. Sharma
  • Etienne Duveiller
Original Article


Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars for the warm regions of South Asia must produce high yields and possess resistance to spot blotch (Cochliobolus sativus), early maturity and high kernel weight. A study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of selecting for high grain yield based on a selection index for spot blotch resistance, maturity and kernel weight in four wheat crosses involving a susceptible cultivar and resistant genotypes. Initial selection of 40 progeny lines in each cross had been made using a selection index based on disease severity, days to heading and kernel weight as reported by Sharma and Duveiller [{Crop Sci 43 (2003) 2031}]. The five highest grain-yielding progeny lines from among the 40 lines in each cross, their parents and five popular commercial cultivars were evaluated in field trials at two sites in Nepal in the 2002 and 2003 wheat seasons. Multiple spot blotch assessments were made to determine the area under disease progress curve (AUDPC). Grain yield, thousand-kernel weight (TKW), days to heading and plant height were examined. The wheat genotypes in the farmer's field were also ranked on the basis of cultivar preference criteria by the local farmers. The 20 progeny lines always showed a higher (+11 to +125%) grain yield and heavier (+10 to +44%) kernels than their parents and a lower (−83 to −89%) AUDPC than the susceptible parent. The progeny lines showed 98–100% grain yield, 97–100% TKW and 66–78% AUDPC compared to the highest grain-yielding commercial cultivar. Based on the farmers' preference criteria for a desirable wheat genotype, the best progeny lines ranked from 3rd to 5th, whereas the two commercial cultivars ranked 1st (Gautam) and 2nd (BL 1473). Results indicated that selection was effective in combining adaptation genes present in a local cultivar with some level of tolerance to spot blotch and resistance genes from exotic genotypes, which translated into improved agronomic performance and disease resistance. The selection index and farmer participatory approach used in this study could serve as a guideline in breeding efforts targeted for high yielding genotypes for wheat-growing conditions in South Asia where spot blotch is a serious biotic constraint to yield.


Bipolaris sorokiniana Cochliobolus sativus Farmer participatory research Foliar blight Resistance Spot blotch Triticum aestivum wheat 



Area under disease progress curve




Thousand-kernel weight


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Agriculture and Animal ScienceRampur, ChitwanNepal
  2. 2.CIMMYT, South Asia Regional OfficeKathmanduNepal

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