International Sugar Journal

Addressing slow rates of long-term genetic gain in sugarcane* [Full subscriber]

Abstract For the last 50 years, rates of genetic gain in sugarcane breeding programs worldwide appear to be slow, particularly when compared with gains being delivered in some other crops. Likely reasons include the high proportion of genetic variation present as non-additive variation in sugarcane for key traits and long generation interval between crossing and parent selection. The high non-additive genetic variation, especially for cane yield, contributes to low narrow-sense heritability and means that selection of new parents based on phenotype poorly predicts breeding value. DNA markers may better predict breeding value because prediction models directly related to additive genetic…

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