Overestimation of the genetic parameters is common in palms due to the occurrence of geitonogamy and the absence of self-incompatibility mechanisms. Data from nursery grown Archontophoenix palms were utilized, assuming a mixed mating system including random cross-pollination and selfing at different rates. The objective was to show the importance of knowing the mating system predominant and define breeding strategies for that genus. Twenty-four King palm half sib families were evaluated at nursery conditions using a randomised complete block design, with nine replications and eleven plants per plot. Ten months after sowing, traits such as diameter, height, number of green leaves and length of the leaf sheath of the second leaf, were individually measured. Traits related to biomass were also estimated through regression procedure. It was concluded that King palm cannot be considered allogamous and the mixed mating system model should be used when estimating genetic parameters. At least 50% of selfing occurred at the time of pollination in the mother plants. The multi-effects index, using all random effects of the linear model, provided the highest selection accuracy for all traits, whatever the individual heritability level, and should be used in King palm heart-of-palm breeding programs. Under the allogamous model, the effective size of the studied population was equivalent to 93 unrelated individuals. This size was reduced to 32 palms under the mixed model; even so this population has enough variability to allow genetic progress by selection
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