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Combining crop growth modeling with trait-assisted prediction improved the prediction of genotype by environment interactions

Abstract : Plant breeders evaluate their selection candidates in multi-environment trials to estimate their performance in contrasted environments. The number of genotype/environment combinations that can be evaluated is strongly constrained by phenotyping costs and by the necessity to limit the evaluation to a few years. Genomic prediction models taking the genotype by environment interactions (GEI) into account can help breeders identify combination of (possibly unphenotyped) genotypes and target environments optimizing the traits under selection. We propose a new prediction approach in which a secondary trait available on both the calibration and the test sets is introduced as an environment specific covariate in the prediction model (trait-assisted prediction, TAP). The originality of this approach is that the phenotyping of the test set for the secondary trait is replaced by crop-growth model (CGM) predictions. So there is no need to sow and phenotype the test set in each environment which is a clear advantage over the classical trait-assisted prediction models. The interest of this approach, called CGM-TAP, is highest if the secondary trait is easy to predict with CGM and strongly related to the target trait in each environment (and thus capturing GEI). We tested CGM-TAP on bread wheat with heading date as secondary trait and grain yield as target trait. Simple CGM-TAP model with a linear effect of heading date resulted in high predictive abilities in three prediction scenarios (sparse testing, or prediction of new genotypes or of new environments). It increased predictive abilities of all reference GEI models, even those involving sophisticated environmental covariates.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02917507
Contributor : Jacques Le Gouis <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 28, 2021 - 3:12:12 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, May 29, 2021 - 3:08:12 AM

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Pauline Robert, Jacques Le Gouis, Renaud Rincent, . Breedwheat Consortium. Combining crop growth modeling with trait-assisted prediction improved the prediction of genotype by environment interactions. Frontiers in Plant Science, Frontiers, 2020, 11, pp.1-11. ⟨10.3389/fpls.2020.00827⟩. ⟨hal-02917507⟩

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