Impact of depth of pedigree and inclusion of historical data on the estimation of additive variance and breeding values in a sugarcane breeding program

Theor Appl Genet. 2009 Aug;119(3):555-65. doi: 10.1007/s00122-009-1065-7. Epub 2009 Jul 14.


Sugarcane breeders in Australia combine data across four selection programs to obtain estimates of breeding value for parents. When these data are combined with full pedigree information back to founding parents, computing limitations mean it is not possible to obtain information on all parents. Family data from one sugarcane selection program were analysed using two different genetic models to investigate how different depths of pedigree and amount of data affect the reliability of estimating breeding value of sugarcane parents. These were the parental and animal models. Additive variance components and breeding values estimated from different amounts of information were compared for both models. The accuracy of estimating additive variance components and breeding values improved as more pedigree information and historical data were included in analyses. However, adding years of data had a much larger effect on the estimation of variance components of the population, and breeding values of the parents. To accurately estimate breeding values of all sugarcane parents, a minimum of three generations of pedigree and 5 years of historical data were required, while more information (four generations of pedigree and 7 years of historical data) was required when identifying top parents to be selected for future cross pollination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods
  • Australia
  • Biometry
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Hybridization, Genetic*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Models, Statistical
  • Pedigree*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Saccharum / genetics*