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Improving accuracy of breeding values by incorporating genomic information in spatial-competition mixed models

Cappa E.P., El-Kassaby Y.A., Munoz F., Garcia M.N., Villalba P.V., Klápste J., Marcucci Poltri S.N.. 2017. Molecular Breeding, 37 : 13 p..

DOI: 10.1007/s11032-017-0725-6

Climate change and the increasing demand for sustainable energy resources require urgent strategies to increase the accuracy of selection in tree breeding (associated with higher gain). We investigated the combined pedigree and genomic-based relationship approach and its impact on the accuracy of predicted breeding values using data from 5-year-old Eucalyptus grandis progeny trial. The number of trees that can be genotyped in a tree breeding population is limited; therefore, the combined approach can be a feasible and efficient strategy to increase the genetic gain and provide more accurate predicted breeding values. We calculated the accuracy of predicted breeding values for two growth traits, diameter at breast height and total height, using two evaluation approaches: the combined approach and the classical pedigree-based approach. We also investigated the influence of two different trait heritabilities as well as the inclusion of competition genetic effects or environmental heterogeneity in an individual-tree mixed model on the estimated variance components and accuracy of breeding values. The genomic information of genotyped trees is automatically propagated to all trees with the combined approach, including the non-genotyped mothers. This increased the accuracy of overall breeding values, except for the non-genotyped trees from the competition model. The increase in the accuracy was higher for the total height, the trait with low heritability. The combined approach is a simple, fast, and accurate genomic selection method for genetic evaluation of growth traits in E. grandis and tree species in general. It is simple to implement in a traditional individual-tree mixed model and provides an easy extension to individual-tree mixed models with competition effects and/or environmental heterogeneity.

Mots-clés : eucalyptus grandis; amélioration des plantes; amélioration génétique; compétition végétale; modélisation environnementale; sélection; sélection génomique; modèle mixte

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