Rice plant pattern as predictor of the milling and cooking quality in breeding programs
An appropriate characterization of agronomic and quality traits is a fundamental tool for selecting stable genotypes suitable to be registered as new varieties. The objective of this work was to evaluate agronomic and quality traits of rice germplasm tested in two consecutive years for 23 advanced lines of Portuguese Rice Breeding Program and 3 commercial varieties. The influence of genotype, year and their interaction on grain yield and milling yield, grain uniformity and selected quality indicators for rice was assessed as well as the correlations between the agronomic, biometric and quality parameters. Results showed a generally dominant influence of the genotype, but with some quality parameters significantly affected by year conditions, and with some genotypes more stable than others. Some accessions have also shown better grain biometric uniformity within a year and between years. Significant correlations between quality and agronomic parameters that were observed may mark a plant pattern that can be used as predictor of the milling yield. These analyses provide objective tools for selecting most promising genotypes in rice breeding programs.