I wonder if any of you could provide a statistical argument for the best strategy to follow in my potato breeding.
Vaguely, the process is as follows:
•YEAR ONE. Two desirable parents are crossed and the seed is collected- each cross can produce many seeds (250-1000) – I make about 50 crosses each year.
•YEAR TWO. Plant 30 seeds for each cross, one per pot. Each seed produces from 1 to 6 tubers per pot
•YEAR THREE. The best tuber per pot is planted in the field.
•YEAR FOUR. Best plants are selected and a percentage calculated as a proportion of selections, e.g. 7 plants selected out of 35 tubers planted = 20% selected for further trials.
•YEAR FIVE. Based on year four information, more seed is planted of crosses identified as yielding 15% plus success rates.
•YEAR SIX. More selecting…etc.
My problem is that the whole process identifying new potato varieties takes so many years that by the time one finds out is using the wrong strategy it’s too late. So, what would be a good strategy for finding new varieties?
1.Just doing lots of crosses each year (I do about 50) and planting a sample of 30 seed per cross?
2.Planting as many seeds as possible of those crosses identified as yielding a higher proportion of successes (10-30%, not normally higher) and not doing any further crosses?
Just stumbled across this post in passing.
Regarding your selection methord in year two for planting in year three.
Each tuber in the pot will be identical genetically, having all come from the same plant. - Are you selecting the "best tuber" as it is the most viable (so reducing the risk of it not producing a good plant the followig year) or with the intention of improving your selection (in which case it won't leave you better off, sorry).