Efficacy of modified polycross method in development of sugarcane progenies
AbstractThere has not been appreciable progress in development of productive commercial sugarcane varieties in Nigeria due to low technological development. Consequently, a modified polycross breeding scheme was developed to generate superior progenies that could replace existing low yielding varieties. The objective of this study therefore was to test the efficacy of the breeding scheme by assessing the genetic variability and inheritance of characters associated with economic sugarcane traits (cane yield and sucrose content) among the progenies as well as identify those with superior performance over the best checks. The results showed significant differences (P 0.05 < 0.001) for all the traits as well as the presence of high genetic variability for the studied traits except for brix among the progenies. Rank summation index based on the combination of cane yield and brix, identified three progenies USRI/08/12, USRI/08/22 and USRI/08/25 as being superior to the highest yielding check varieties. The results showed that the modified polycross method is as efficient as the Hawaiian polycross technique and more economical in the development of high yielding commercial sugarcane varieties in low technological developed sugarcane breeding programme.
Key Words: Crop cycles, Heritability, Rank Summation Index, Saccharum officinarum L.