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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #195907


item ZHOU, M
item Tew, Thomas

Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2006
Publication Date: 7/20/2006
Citation: Zhou, M., Tew, T.L., Kimbeng, C.A., Gravois, K.A., Bischoff, K.P. 2006. Evaluation of family appraisal methods in sugarcane [abstract]. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 26:59. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In Louisiana, sugarcane (Saccharum spp. Hybrids) breeders rely upon information obtained from family appraisal trials to make decisions that impact several important aspects of breeding programs. Decisions about parents to retain for future crossing, cross combinations to make, and numbers of crosses and seedlings per cross to plant and ultimately from which to select are all guided by information derived from family appraisal trials. Thus, efficient and practical family appraisal methods are vitally important to the long term success of any breeding program. In this study, we evaluated families in the seedling (Stage I, single stool) and first line trial (Stage II, clonal plots) stages for key traits in an effort to ascertain the reliability of the current (Stage I) family appraisal method. Seventeen sugarcane families derived from biparental crosses were evaluated in Stages I and II for stalk traits (number, height, diameter), Brix (measured in the laboratory by refractometer), cane yield and number of clones selected. Sixteen random stools per family were measured in Stage I and planted to Stage II trials. Generally, traits were measured in Stage I with less precision (higher CV, %) compared with Stage II. Broad-sense heritabilities were generally greater in Stage II compared with Stage I. However, the Stage I data for traits such as stalk height, stalk diameter and Brix were more predictive of Stage II family performance than the other traits measured. Stalk diameter measured in both stages was the trait most correlated to number of clones selected in Stage II while stalk number was the least correlated. Using current Stage I plot techniques, it appears family appraisal could reliably be carried out in Stage I with emphasis on traits such as stalk diameter, stalk height, and Brix; emphasis on stalk number should only occur at later selection stages. Obtaining family appraisal data in Stage II rather than Stage I would ultimately provide the most robust estimates of family performance.