Assessing the expected response to genomic selection of individuals and families in Eucalyptus breeding with an additive-dominant model
We report a genomic selection (GS) study of growth and wood quality traits in an outbred F2 hybrid Eucalyptus population (n=768) using high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping. Going beyond previous reports in forest trees, models were developed for different selection targets, namely, families, individuals within families and individuals across the entire population using a genomic model including dominance. To provide a more breeder-intelligible assessment of the performance of GS we calculated the expected response as the percentage gain over the population average expected genetic value (EGV) for different proportions of genomically selected individuals, using a rigorous cross-validation (CV) scheme that removed relatedness between training and validation sets. Predictive abilities (PAs) were 0.40–0.57 for individual selection and 0.56–0.75 for family selection. PAs under an additive+dominance model improved predictions by 5 to 14% for growth depending on the selection target, but no improvement was seen for wood traits. The good performance of GS with no relatedness in CV suggested that our average SNP density (~25 kb) captured some short-range linkage disequilibrium. Truncation GS successfully selected individuals with an average EGV significantly higher than the population average. Response to GS on a per year basis was ~100% more efficient than by phenotypic selection and more so with higher selection intensities. These results contribute further experimental data supporting the positive prospects of GS in forest trees. Because generation times are long, traits are complex and costs of DNA genotyping are plummeting, genomic prediction has good perspectives of adoption in tree breeding practice.
Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2017.37
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