, 213:221 | Cite as

Replicate allocation to improve selection efficiency in the early stages of a potato breeding scheme

  • M. F. PagetEmail author
  • P. A. Alspach
  • J. A. D. Anderson
  • R. A. Genet
  • W. F. Braam
  • L. A. Apiolaza


Field data and simulation were used to investigate replication within trials and the allocation of replicates across trial sites using partial replication as an approach to improve the efficiency of early-stage selection in a potato breeding programme. Analysis of potato trial data using linear mixed models, based on four-plant (clonal) plots planted as augmented partially-replicated (p-rep) designs, obtained genetic and environmental components of variation for a number of yield and tuber components. Heritabilities, trial-to-trial genetic correlations and performance repeatability of clonal selections in p-rep trials and in subsequent fully replicated trial stages were high, and selection was effective for the economically important traits of marketable tuber yield and tuber cooking quality. Simulations using a parameter-based approach, pertaining to the variance components estimated from the p-rep field trials, and the parametric bootstrapping of historic empirical data showed improved rates of genetic gain with p-rep testing over one and two locations compared with testing in fully replicated trials. This potato breeding study suggests that the evaluation and selection of a clonal field crop in fully replicated trials may not be optimal in the early stages of a breeding cycle and that p-rep designs offer a more efficient and practical alternative.


Breeding programme Field trials MET Multi-environment trials P-rep Partial replication 



We would like to thank Moe Jeram for the management of the Pukekohe field trials. We thank Satish Kumar and Steve Lewthwaite for helpful suggestions that improved the manuscript. We also gratefully acknowledge the funding assistance for this study provided by Potatoes NZ Charitable Trust.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. F. Paget
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. A. Alspach
    • 2
  • J. A. D. Anderson
    • 3
  • R. A. Genet
    • 1
  • W. F. Braam
    • 1
  • L. A. Apiolaza
    • 4
  1. 1.The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research LimitedChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research LimitedMotuekaNew Zealand
  3. 3.The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research LimitedPukekoheNew Zealand
  4. 4.School of ForestryUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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