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Theoretical studies on the necessary number of components in mixtures

2. Number of components and yielding-ability


Theoretical studies on the necessary number of components in mixtures (for example multiclonal varieties or mixtures of lines) have been performed according to yielding ability. All theoretical investigations are based upon a Gram-Charlier frequency distribution of the component means with skewness γ1 and kurtosis γ2. The selected fraction p of the best components constitutes the mixture under consideration. The same selection differential S = S (p, γ1, γ2) can be realized by different parameter values of p, γ1 and γ2. Therefore, equal yield levels of the mixture can be achieved by different selected fractions p which implies different numbers of components in the mixture. Numerical results of S = S(p) for different values of γ1 and γ2 are presented and discussed. Of particular interest are the selected fractions p which lead to a maximal selection differential S. These results on S for ‘large populations’ must be reduced in the case of finite population size. For this correction term we used an approximation B = B (p, n, γ1, γ2) given by Burrows (1972) where n = number of selected components. For given parameter values of γ1, γ2 and p, the necessary number n of components can be calculated by using the condition: Burrows-correction less than a certain percentage g of S — for example with g = 0.05 or g = 0.01. For given γ1 and γ2, the number n leading to a maximal selection differential S can be regarded as necessary number of components (necessary = maximum gain of selection under the given conditions). Numerical results are given for γ2 = 0 and for eight situations which are defined by linear relations γ2 = c γ1 between skewness and kurtosis. These cases will contain all possible numerical situations for γ1 and γ2, which may be relevant for practical applications. The necessary number of components turns out to be nearly independent of the numerical value of the kurtosis γ2. The n-intervals leading to selected fractions p from 0.01 to 0.20 approximately are: 2 ≤ n ≤ 4 for g = 0.05, 6 ≤ n ≤ 20 for g = 0.01 and 11 ≤ n ≤ 40 for g = 0.005, respectively. However, percentages g less than 0.01 would be unrealistically excessive. Therefore, following the assumptions and restrictions given in this paper one may conclude that n = 20 seems to be an appropriate upper bound for the necessary number of components in mixtures.

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Communicated by P.M.A. Tigerstedt

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Hühn, M. Theoretical studies on the necessary number of components in mixtures. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 71, 622–630 (1986).

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Key words

  • Mixtures
  • Number of components
  • Yielding ability