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Estimating an Aggregate Economic Genotype to Facilitate Breeding and Selection of Strawberry Genotypes in Southeast Queensland

Herrington, M. E., Hardner, C., Wegener, M., Woolcock, L. and Dieters, M. J. (2014) Estimating an Aggregate Economic Genotype to Facilitate Breeding and Selection of Strawberry Genotypes in Southeast Queensland. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 139 (3). pp. 253-260.

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Publisher URL: http://journal.ashspublications.org/content/139/3/253.abstract


The Queensland strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) breeding program in subtropical Australia aims to improve sustainable profitability for the producer. Selection must account for the relative economic importance of each trait and the genetic architecture underlying these traits in the breeding population. Our study used estimates of the influence of a trait on production costs and profitability to develop a profitability index (PI) and an economic weight (i.e., change in PI for a unit change in level of trait) for each trait. The economic weights were then combined with the breeding values for 12 plant and fruit traits on over 3000 genotypes that were represented in either the current breeding population or as progenitors in the pedigree of these individuals. The resulting linear combination (i.e., sum of economic weight × breeding value for all 12 traits) estimated the overall economic worth of each genotype as H, the aggregate economic genotype. H values were validated by comparisons among commercial cultivars and were also compared with the estimated gross margins. When the H value of ‘Festival’ was set as zero, the H values of genotypes in the pedigree ranged from –0.36 to +0.28. H was highly correlated (R2 = 0.77) with the year of selection (1945–98). The gross margins were highly linearly related (R2 > 0.98) to H values when the genotype was planted on less than 50% of available area, but the relationship was non-linear [quadratic with a maximum (R2 > 0.96)] when the planted area exceeded 50%. Additionally, with H values above zero, the variation in gross margin increased with increasing H values as the percentage of area planted to a genotype increased. High correlations among some traits allowed the omission of any one of three of the 12 traits with little or no effect on ranking (Spearman’s rank correlation 0.98 or greater). Thus, these traits may be dropped from the aggregate economic genotype, leading to either cost reductions in the breeding program or increased selection intensities for the same resources. H was efficient in identifying economically superior genotypes for breeding and deployment, but because of the non-linear relationship with gross margin, calculation of a gross margin for genotypes with high H is also necessary when cultivars are deployed across more than 50% of the available area.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Berries and small fruits
Plant culture > Propagation
Science > Botany > Genetics
Live Archive:01 Jul 2014 03:27
Last Modified:13 Sep 2022 06:03

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