The Journal of Agricultural Science

Research Article

Adjustment for competition between varieties in plant breeding trials

R. A. Kemptona1

a1 Plant Breeding Institute, Trumpington, Cambridge


A method is proposed for correcting for competition effects in yield trials by joint regression of plot yields on to the yields of neighbours. Estimation of the variety effects and competition coefficient along with tests of significance are described for a sugar-beet trial with single-row plots where competition effects are assumed to extend only to plants in immediately adjacent rows. For designs which are balanced for neighbouring varieties it is feasible to estimate separate varietal competition coefficients which may be partitioned into components for sensitivity and aggressiveness. An example is given of this extended model fitted to a competition diallel of seven species. While species differed in their sensitivity to competition there was no essential difference between inter- and intra-species behaviour. The model is used to assess comparative varietal performance in monocultures from performance in small plot trials.

(Note that the general term ‘variety’ is used throughout this paper to refer to progenies at any stage in a selection programme.)

(Received December 04 1981)