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The choice of selection index in kale (Brassica oleracea L.) population improvement

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The use of selection indices was explored in a kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala) breeding programme aimed at increasing digestible organicmatter (DOM) yield, and lowering S-methyl cysteine sulphoxide (SMCO) and thiocyanate ion (SCN) contents by half-sib family selection. The predicted overall response with the optimum index (1.59) was slightly better than with the base index (1.56) which in turn was superior to the desired gains index (1.41). All three indices were expected to increase height and reduce amino acid content, mainly because of genetical correlations between DOM yield and height (r=0.76) and between SMCO and amino acid contents (r=0.81). Elimination of these correlated responses with the desired gains index would result in virtually no progress, and with the restricted index an undesirable increase in SMCO content would occur.

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Communicated by G. Wenzel

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Bradshaw, J.E. The choice of selection index in kale (Brassica oleracea L.) population improvement. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 75, 165–169 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00249159

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Key words

  • Kale breeding
  • Half-sib family selection
  • Efficiency of selection