Research Article

Comparing family with individual genotype breeding parameters for cane yield in sugarcane populations

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 36, issue 1, 2019 , pages: 11–19
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2018.1465135
Author(s): Ntombokulunga W MbumaSouth African Sugarcane Research Institute, South Africa, Marvellous M ZhouSouth African Sugarcane Research Institute, South Africa, Rouxlene van der MerweDepartment of Plant Sciences, South Africa


Family selection is the positive advancement of all progenies from a cross and is widely practiced in breeding for sugarcane and other crops. The objective of this study was to compare family with individual genotype selection (IGS) for cane yield and its components (stalk number, height and diameter). Data for cane yield, stalk number, height and diameter were measured from progeny plots. Both family and individual genotype effects for all traits produced significant (p < 0.001) variance components. Family variance was 1.2–5.0 times that of individual genotypes, indicating larger genetic variability among families than individual progenies. Families produced larger broad-sense heritability (H) estimates (25%–90%) compared with individual genotypes (1.6%–23.5%), suggesting that selecting superior families would be more effective than selecting individual genotypes. Families produced higher predicted selection gains (%Gs) (9%–59%) compared with individual genotypes (1%–12%), highlighting higher efficiency associated with family selection. The larger family variance, higher H and %Gs indicated superiority of family compared with IGS in sugarcane breeding. Significant family and individual genotype variances indicated that family selection followed by IGS within selected families will increase efficiency in the first field stage of sugarcane breeding.

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