Use of Hill Plots for Genetic and Breeding Studies of Bean1

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Author: F. A. Bliss1
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53 706


The precision of a 9-plant hill-plot design in which plants were sown 15 cm apart in a 3 × 3 arrangement compared favorably to that of 3-m-row plots containing approximately 75 plants for the estimation of pod yield of snap beans Phaseolus vulgaris L. Quality traits and sieve size distribution based on pod diameter in both plot designs were similar. Using the square design, the entire 9-plant plot can be taken as the unit of selection, or single plant selection can be practiced when the test plant is grown in the center hill surrounded by 8 uniform guard plants. Single plant selection using this design has been used effectively to modify traits of beans having moderate to high heritability. Selection based on family means should be used for traits with low heritability. Efficiency of the hill-plot design is realized in terms of smaller plot size, fewer required seeds per plot and reduced harvest time.

Contributor Notes

Received for publication April 28, 1975. Research supported by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, with funds from Hatch Project 1626.

Associate Professor.