Data_Sheet_3_Phenotypic Selection in Ornamental Breeding: It's Better to Have the BLUPs Than to Have the BLUEs.PDF
Plant breeders always face the challenge to select the best individuals. Selection methods are required that maximize selection gain based on available data. When several crosses have been made, the BLUP procedure achieves this by combining phenotypic data with information on pedigree relationships via an index, known as family-index selection. The index, estimated based on the intra-class correlation coefficient, exploits the relationship among individuals within a family relative to other families in the population. An intra-class correlation coefficient of one indicates that the individual performance can be fully explained based on the family background, whereas an intra-class correlation coefficient of zero indicates the performance of individuals is independent of the family background. In the case the intra-class correlation coefficient is one, family-index selection is considered. In the case the intra-class correlation coefficient is zero, individual selection is considered. The main difference between individual and family-index selection lies in the adjustment in estimating the individual's effect depending on the intra-class correlation coefficient afforded by the latter. Two examples serve to illustrate the application of the BLUP method. The efficiency of individual and family-index selection was evaluated in terms of the heritability obtained from linear mixed models implementing the selection methods by suitably defining the treatment factor as the sum of individual and family effect. Family-index selection was found to be at least as efficient as individual selection in Dianthus caryophyllus L., except for flower size in standard carnation and vase life in mini carnation for which traits family-index selection outperformed individual selection. Family-index selection was superior to individual selection in Pelargonium zonale in cases when the heritability was low. Hence, the pedigree-based BLUP procedure can enhance selection efficiency in production-related traits in P. zonale or shelf-life related in D. caryophyllus L.