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Character Association and Selection Indices in Sugarcane

Mohammad Tahir, Iftikhar Hussain Khalil, Per H. McCord, Barry Glaz
American Journal of Experimental Agriculture 2014 v.4 no.3 pp. 336-348
crop yield, cultivars, genetic improvement, genotype, selection index, sugarcane, Pakistan
Sugarcane is an important crop of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. However, the yield per unit area is below some advanced sugarcane growing areas of the world, and the national average of Pakistan. Improved methods of selection resulting in higher yielding sugarcane cultivars would help in increased yield. Information about direct and indirect effects of yield contributing characters and subsequently developing a selection index would greatly improve the process of cultivar development. An experiment comprising 26 sugarcane genotypes coupled with 2 check cultivars was grown in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications at Sugar Crops Research Institute, Mardan, Pakistan during 2011-2013. Data were collected on stalk and yield attributes. Genotypic path coefficients revealed that Tiller2, growth2, and Pol had positive direct effects on cane yield. Selection indices based on growth2, Pol, tiller2, and cane yield showed that individuals selected based on these characters simultaneously gave a genetic advance of above 60. CPF-225, MS-2003-CR5-245, MS-2003-CR7-243, and MS-2003-CR8-407 could be selected as the best genotypes according to these selection indices. This study showed that applying path coefficient analyses followed by development of selection index could be a worthwhile selection strategy.