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Wheat breeding by anther culture has the advantage of reducing breeding time, as well as high efficiency and accuracy in progeny selection. However, low percentage of callus induction, green plantlet regeneration and chromosome doubling of the haploid regenerants has limited its practical application. We improved the techniques in consideration of the three key steps by adjusting the sowing date of donor wheat, adding rare earth elements (REE) to the differentiation medium, and improving the chromosome doubling method. On the average, the induction rate of callus reached 8% for all the genotypes inoculated in the annual breeding. The regeneration rate and percentage of fertile regenerants were above 25 and 80%, respectively. We also designed a specific breeding strategy for anther culture by focusing on the genotypic constitution of the parents, their combination type and the progeny selection method. H2 was the best selection generation for traits with high heredity ability, and H3 was the best selection for grain traits and yield test. Consequently, we bred and licensed six new wheat varieties derived from anther culture and significantly reduced breeding time to three to five years. Huapei 8 was the newest released wheat variety bred by anther culture with superior agronomic characters, high yield potential and wide adaptability.
Key words: Triticum aestivum, anther culture, rear earth elements, chromosome doubling, wheat breeding.