Journal of
Plant Breeding and Crop Science

  • Abbreviation: J. Plant Breed. Crop Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9758
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPBCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 409

Full Length Research Paper

Sampling strategies for proper quantification of carotenoid content in cassava breeding

  Darwin Ortiz, Teresa Sánchez, Nelson Morante, Hernán Ceballos*, Helena Pachón, Myriam C.  Duque, Alba Lucía Chávez and Andrés Felipe Escobar 
  International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), National University of Colombia, Palmira Campus,   Apartado Aéreo 6713, Cali, Colombia. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Published: 31 January 2010



Rapid-cycling recurrent selection has been implemented to produce cassava varieties that deliver provitamin A carotenoids to human populations that are affected by vitamin A deficiency. Rapid-cycling 
selection relies on quantification in just one plant per genotype. This study was conducted to assess the 
reliability of single-plant evaluations and the effect of age of the plant on carotenoid content in cassava 
roots. Variation in aliquot quantifications from the same root was negligible indicating a reliable 
experimental procedure. A large source of variation for carotenoids was due to differences among 
genotypes. Root-to-root variation from the same plant in some cases was surprisingly high and 
accounted for an average of 25% of the total variation. Plant-to-plant variation was not as high and 
accounted for 20% of the total variance. Carotenoid content was shown to vary depending on the age of 
the plant. Single-plant evaluations for carotenoid content in cassava, which is a requirement for rapidcycling recurrent selection is acceptable considering that it reduces in half the time required for 
evaluation and selection. However, it is suggested that 2 to 3 roots per plant be combined together in a 
sample to represent each genotype at a standard plant age.  
Key words: Plant age, environmental influence, rapid cycling, genetic gains, -carotene, repeatability