Clonal selection is the preferred breeding method used in potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.). However this selection procedure is only efficient for more advanced generations and shows no good results when applied in the seedling up to the second clonal generation. This study assessed the feasibility of selection in early generations of full-sib potato families and compares the selection method among and within families with the combined selection under different selection intensities. Six experiments were conducted from the first (C1) until the third clonal generation (C3). In C1 a randomized complete block design with four replications of 25 plants was used. In the remaining generations RCB was employed with three replications of 10 plants. Genetic variances were lower between families than within families, for all traits, but the heritabilities between families were almost always larger. The expected gains from selection between and within families were superior to gains from the combined selection in any intensity of selection. The selection of families should have weaker intensity than selection among clones within families. The selection of families was more efficient when based on the average of environments.
Solanum tuberosum; plant breeding; clonal generations