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Wheat Information Service
Number 90:7-12 (2000)
Research article

Inheritance of flag leaf in bread wheat genotypes

Naeem Mahmood and Muhammad Aslam Chowdhry

Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Agriculture,Faisalabad, Pakistan


A 6x6 diallel analysis was conducted for the estimation of gene action, combining ability and heterosis for flag leaf parameters in wheat. Additive, gene action and partial dominance was observed for flag leaf area and flag leaf weight, respectively. While dominance and overdominance were observed for specific flag leaf area and specific flag leaf weight. High heterosis for flag leaf traits was observed in the hybrids involving LU26S or 4072 as one of the parents. These parents were also good general combiners for these traits and thus, are suggested as useful to be incorporated in the future breeding program for improving flag leaf characteristics in wheat.

Key words: Flag leaf, Specific flag leaf, Additive, Dominance, Heterosis


Flag leaf or the top most leaf in cereals is the most effective photosynthetic structure as compared to other green parts of the plant. Similarly in case of wheat, most of the photosynthates or assimilates accumulated in the grain in the form of starch and other carbohydrates are translocated mainly from the flag leaf. Ibrahim and Abo Elenein (1977) found that the flag leaf contributed 41-43% to the grain weight due to increase in kernel weight and number per spike since the flag leaf is photosynthetically the most active leaf during grain formation stage. Photosynthetic efficiency also relates to the amount of light interception and flag leaf is the one where maximum light interception can be obtained in cereals like wheat. Therefore, cultivars with greater flag leaf area generally have high grain weight. Monyo and Whittington (1971) obtained a significant positive correlation coefficient of 0.41 for the association between grain yield per tiller and flag leaf area in wheat. Similarly Briggs and Aytenfisu (1980) recorded a positive and significant association of flag leaf area with grain yield per plant and 1000-grain weight. Although genetic studies pertaining to flag leaf parameters (flag leaf and specific flag leaf area and weight) have been occasionally conducted by few scientists (e.g. Briggs and Aytenfisu 1980), this information is insufficient. Genetic information like gene action, combining ability and heterosis for these traits will be helpful for the breeders to select potential genotypes/combinations that may be incorporated in productive breeding project.


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