Relating early growth traits to root productivity for cassava breeding schemes

Pages 391-394

M.O. Akoroda, A.G.O Dixon and R.U. Okechukwu


The use of plants at full-term maturity to select genotypes in cassava breeding is normal. This paper expresses concerns on the conduct of plant breeding in many poor programs where shortage of funds stalls the process of breeding. It is considered that some shortened way to the selection of genotypes must be found so that early characteristics of the cassava plant could be used as indicators to identify genotypes with greater likelihood of identifying superior types. The review of available data show that early ability to sprout and establish in the field as well as other growth variables within the first few weeks of crop life may be useful in identifying a good proportion of the elite genotypes. This form of research requires a wider use of data from more diverse agroecologies and covering many genotypes to be more reliable as a tool. It would, if eventually be useful in greatly reducing the amount of work undertaken by breeders.

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