Research Article

Classification of cassava genotypes based on qualitative and quantitative data

Published: February 02, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (1) : 906-924 DOI: 10.4238/2015.February.2.14

Abstract

We evaluated the genetic variation of cassava accessions based on qualitative (binomial and multicategorical) and quantitative traits (continuous). We characterized 95 accessions obtained from the Cassava Germplasm Bank of Embrapa Mandioca e Fruticultura; we evaluated these accessions for 13 continuous, 10 binary, and 25 multicategorical traits. First, we analyzed the accessions based only on quantitative traits; next, we conducted joint analysis (qualitative and quantitative traits) based on the Ward-MLM method, which performs clustering in two stages. According to the pseudo-F, pseudo-t2, and maximum likelihood criteria, we identified five and four groups based on quantitative trait and joint analysis, respectively. The smaller number of groups identified based on joint analysis may be related to the nature of the data. On the other hand, quantitative data are more subject to environmental effects in the phenotype expression; this results in the absence of genetic differences, thereby contributing to greater differentiation among accessions. For most of the accessions, the maximum probability of classification was >0.90, independent of the trait analyzed, indicating a good fit of the clustering method. Differences in clustering according to the type of data implied that analysis of quantitative and qualitative traits in cassava germplasm might explore different genomic regions. On the other hand, when joint analysis was used, the means and ranges of genetic distances were high, indicating that the Ward-MLM method is very useful for clustering genotypes when there are several phenotypic traits, such as in the case of genetic resources and breeding programs.

We evaluated the genetic variation of cassava accessions based on qualitative (binomial and multicategorical) and quantitative traits (continuous). We characterized 95 accessions obtained from the Cassava Germplasm Bank of Embrapa Mandioca e Fruticultura; we evaluated these accessions for 13 continuous, 10 binary, and 25 multicategorical traits. First, we analyzed the accessions based only on quantitative traits; next, we conducted joint analysis (qualitative and quantitative traits) based on the Ward-MLM method, which performs clustering in two stages. According to the pseudo-F, pseudo-t2, and maximum likelihood criteria, we identified five and four groups based on quantitative trait and joint analysis, respectively. The smaller number of groups identified based on joint analysis may be related to the nature of the data. On the other hand, quantitative data are more subject to environmental effects in the phenotype expression; this results in the absence of genetic differences, thereby contributing to greater differentiation among accessions. For most of the accessions, the maximum probability of classification was >0.90, independent of the trait analyzed, indicating a good fit of the clustering method. Differences in clustering according to the type of data implied that analysis of quantitative and qualitative traits in cassava germplasm might explore different genomic regions. On the other hand, when joint analysis was used, the means and ranges of genetic distances were high, indicating that the Ward-MLM method is very useful for clustering genotypes when there are several phenotypic traits, such as in the case of genetic resources and breeding programs.