Research Papers

Family selection gains for quality traits among South African sugarcane breeding populations

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 29, issue 3-4, 2012 , pages: 143–149
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2012.743606
Author(s): MM ZhouSouth African Sugarcane Research Institute, South Africa, ML LichakaneSouth African Sugarcane Research Institute, South Africa


In sugarcane breeding, family selection has been shown to produce larger gains than individual plant selection. During family selection, whole families of seedlings are selected or rejected based on data derived from replicated family plots. The objective of this study was to determine predicted family selection gains and evaluate their implications for variety improvement in terms of quality traits among sugarcane breeding populations of the South African Sugarcane Research Institute's regional breeding programmes. The data was collected from seven breeding populations and analysed using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS). All the quality traits showed highly significant family effects variance components. There were consistent increases in heritability and gains to selection with advancing population series indicating benefits from indirect recurrent selection. Brix % cane, because it costs less to measure, could be used to evaluate within family variability. The B, C, U and F populations produced larger and more consistent selection gains than K, T and S. Recurrent selection could be used to enhance breeding for quality traits.

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