Genetic Variability, Correlation among Agronomic Traits,and Genetic Progress in a Sugarcane...

Fernanda Zatti Barreto, Thiago Willian Almeida Balsalobre, Roberto Giacomini Chapola, Antonio Augusto Franco Garcia, Anete Pereira Souza, Hermann Paulo Hoffmann, Rodrigo Gazaffi and Monalisa Sampaio Carneiro.

Sugarcane breeding programs require 15 years of experimentation to create more productive cultivars, and estimates of genetic progress can indicate the efficiency of breeding programs. In this study, we used a diversity panel, the Brazilian Panel of Sugarcane Genotypes (BPSG), with the following objectives: (i) to estimate, through a mixed model, the adjusted means and genetic parameters of ten traits evaluated over three harvest years; (ii) to estimate genotypic correlation among those traits; and (iii) to estimate genetic progress over six decades of breeding. The heritabilities ranged from 0.43 to 0.88, and we detected 42 significant correlations, 9 negative and 33 positive. Over six decades, the sucrose-related traits BRIX, POL%C, and POL%J showed an average increase per decade of 0.27 ◦Brix, 0.26% and 0.31%, respectively. Stalk number, height, and weight of the plot, and cane and sucrose yields revealed average increases per decade of 3.27 stalks, 0.06 m, 9.42 kg, 11.22 t/ha, and 2.08 t/ha, respectively. The genetic progress of the main agronomic traits is discussed through a historical series of sugarcane genotypes present in the BPSG. The findings of this study could contribute to the management of new breeding strategies and allow for future studies of associative mapping.

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