Marvellous Zhou

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Marvellous Zhou


Senior Plant Breeder & Plant Breeding Project Manager
(Breeding and Fields Resource Unit)

Associate Professor of Plant Breeding:
University of the Free State

PhD (Plant Breeding and Genetics), Louisiana State University, USA

Masters of Applied Statistics, Louisiana State University, USA
MSc Agriculture, University of Natal, South Africa
BSc Agriculture (Honours), University of Zimbabwe

Tel: +27-(0)31-508-7534

Role To plan, develop and implement breeding and selection strategies for the production of high yielding, disease and pest resistant sugarcane varieties adapted to the major agro-bioclimatic zones of the SA sugar industry.
Expertise Early generation and family selection of sugarcane
Genotype by environment interaction
Applied Quantitative Genetics
Experimental design
Applied Statistical analysis
Research Interests Optimizing sugarcane breeding and selection process, quantifying optimum selection rates to maximise genetic gains, GxE interaction, trait interrelationships and their influence on breeding and selection, parent evaluation using breeding values, family selection, recurrent selection to improve commercial traits in gene pool.
Key Outcomes Optimized breeding and selection process
Quantified selection rates for important traits
Increased genetic gains across stages and over time
Key Publications

1. Zhou, M.M. and Gwata E.C.T. (2016). Quantifying Sugarcane Cultivar Genetic Gains in the Midlands region of South Africa. Agronomy Journal 108: 1-7.

2. Zhou, M.M. and Gwata, E.C.T. (2015). Location effects and their implications on breeding for sugarcane yield and quality in the Midlands region of South Africa. Crop Science 55: 2628-2638.

3. Zhou, M.M. (2015). Selection for eldana borer resistance in early stages of sugarcane breeding in South Africa. American Journal of Plant Sciences 6: 2168 - 2176.

4. Zhou, M.M. and Mokwele, A. (2015). Family versus individual genotype selection for Eldana saccharina resistance in early stages of sugarcane breeding. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 2015: 1-8.

5. Zhou, M.M. (2015). Minimum detectable differences for cane yield, sucrose content and sugar yield among the Midlands and coastal short cycle breeding programmes in South Africa. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 32: 175-182.

6. Mendes de Paula, T.O., Marinho, C.D., Souza, V., Barbosa, M.H.P., Peternelli, L.A., Kimbeng, C.A. and Zhou, M.M. (2014). Relationships between methods of variety adaptability and stability in sugarcane. Genetics and Molecular Research 13(2): 4216–4225.

7. Zhou, M.M. (2014). Family evaluation for sugarcane yield using data estimated from stalk number, stalk height and stalk diameter. Journal of Crop Improvement 28(3): 406-417.

8. Joshi, S.V., Zhou, M.M., Leslie, G.W., Way, M.J. and Keeping, M.G. (2014). Comparison of methods for determining thrips (Fulmekiola serrata) damage and implications for resistance screening. International Sugar Journal. 116: 197-199.

9. Zhou, M.M., Kimbeng, C.A., Tew, T.L., Gravois, K.A., Pontif, M. and Bischoff, K.P. (2014). Logistic regression models to aid selection in early stages of sugarcane breeding. Sugar Tech: 16: 150-156.

10. Zhou, M.M., Kimbeng, C.A., Andru, S., Tew, T.L. and Gravois, K.A. (2013). Evaluating sugarcane families for yield potential and repeatability using random coefficient models. Crop Science 53: 2352-2362.

11. Zhang, J., Zhou, M.M., Walsh, J. Chen, Y. and Ming, R. (2013). Sugarcane Genetics and Genomics. Pp 623-643. In: Moore, PH and Botha, FC, eds. Sugarcane: Physiology, Biochemistry, and Functional Biology. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN-13: 978-0-8138-2121-4\2014.

12. Zhou, M.M. (2013). Conventional sugarcane breeding in South Africa: Progress and future prospects. American Journal of Plant Sciences 4: 189-197.

13. Zhou, M.M. (2013). Using Logistic regression model for selection in non-replicated sugarcane breeding populations. Euphytica 191: 415-428.

14. Zhou, M.M., Kimbeng, C.A., Edme, S. and Hale, A.L. (2013). Characterization of Saccharum species germplasm for starch content. Canadian Journal of Plant Studies Vol 2(1) 54-71.

15. Zhou, M.M., Lichakane, M.L. and Joshi, S.V. (2013). Family evaluation for quality traits in South African Sugarcane breeding programmes. International Sugar Journal 115: 418-430.

16. Ramburan, S., Zhou, M.M., and Labuschagne, M. (2012). Integrating empirical and analytical approaches to investigate genotype x environment interactions in sugarcane. Crop Science 52(5): 2153–2165.

17. Zhou, M.M. and Lichakane, M.L. (2012). Family selection gains for quality among South African breeding populations. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 29: 143-149.

18. Zhou, M.M., Suman, A. and Kimbeng, C.A. (2012). Molecular markers associated with starch content and implications for sugarcane introgression breeding using Saccharum spontaneum. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology Vol 2(11): 1127-1137.

19. Zhou, M.M. and Shoko, M.D. (2012). Simultaneous selection for yield and ratooning ability in sugarcane genotypes using analysis of covariance. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 29(2): 93-100.

20. Zhou, M.M., Chihana, A. and Parfitt, R.C. (2012). Optimum replications and crop-years for sugarcane variety trials at Dwangwa sugar estate in Malawi. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 29(1): 31–38.

21. Zhou, M.M. and Joshi, S.V. (2012). Trends in broad sense heritability and implications for sugarcane breeding in South Africa. Sugar Tech 14(1): 40–46.

22. Ramburan, S., Zhou, M.M. and Labuschagne, M. (2012). Investigating test site similarity, trait relations and causes of genotype by environment interactions in the Midlands region of South Africa. Field Crops Research 129: 71–80.

23. Zhou, M.M. and Shoko, M.D. (2012). Simultaneous selection for yield and stability in sugarcane using parametric statistics. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology Volume 2 Number 4: 400-410.

24. Zhou, M.M., Joshi, S.V. and Maritz, T. (2012). Trends and implications of genotype by environment interaction in South African sugarcane breeding. Journal of Crop Improvement 26: 1–14.

25. Ramburan, S., Zhou, M.M. and Labuschagne, M. (2011). Interpretation of genotype x environment interactions of sugarcane: Identifying significant environmental factors. Field Crops Research 124: 392–399.

26. Zhou, M.M., Kimbeng, C.A., Tew, T.L., Gravois, K.A. and Pontiff, P. (2011). Artificial Neural Network Models as a Decision Support Tool for Selection in Sugarcane: A Case Study Using Two Seedling Populations. Crop Science 51: 1–11.

27. Zhou, M.M. and Shoko, M.D. (2011). Seasonal and Varietal Influence on Tiller Population Development of Sugarcane (Saccharum species hybrids). South African Journal of Plant and Soil 28(1): 11–16.

28. Zhou, M.M., Kimbeng, C.A., Tew, T.L. and Shoko, M.D. (2011). Trends in Starch and Sucrose Content among Sweet Sorghum Genotypes and Implications for Sucrose and Ethanol Production. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology 5: 160–166.

29. Zhou, M.M., Kimbeng, C.A., Edme, S., Hale, A. and Eggleston, G. (2011). Sustainability of Low Starch Concentrations in Sugarcane Through Short Term Optimized Amylase and Long Term Breeding Strategies. In G Eggleston (editor). Sustainability of the Sugar and Sugar Ethanol Industries. American Chemical Society: 229-250.

30. Zhou, M.M., da Silva, J.A., Kimbeng, C.A. and White, W.H. (2010). Cross Resistance between the Mexican Rice Borer and the Sugarcane Borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae): A Case Study Using Sugarcane Breeding Populations. Crop Science 50: 1–9.

31. Zhou, M.M. and Kimbeng, C.A. (2010). Multivariate Repeated Measures: A Multivariate Statistical Approach for Analyzing Sugarcane Breeding Trials Data. Proceedings of SASTA 83: 92–105.

32. White, W.H., Kimbeng, C.A., Gravois, K.A. and Zhou, M.M. (2009). Breeding Resistant Sugarcane for Managing Stem borers: Progress and Prospects for Louisiana. Proceeding of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 27: 1–10.

33.  Zhou, M.M. and Shoko, M.D. (2009). Modelling Leaf Area of Sugarcane Varieties Using Non-Destructive Leaf Measurements. Sugar Cane International: Volume 27(4): 158–165.

34. Kimbeng, C.A., Zhou, M.M. and da Silva, J.A. (2009). Genotype by environment interactions and resource allocation in sugarcane yield trials in the Rio Grande valley region of Texas. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 29: 11–24. 

35. Zhou, M.M., Kimbeng, C.A., Eggleston, G., Viator, R.P., Hale, A.L. and Gravois, K.A. (2008). Issues of Starch in sugarcane processing and prospects of breeding for low starch content in sugarcane. Sugarcane International 26: 3–17.