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Journal Articles Frontiers in Plant Science Year : 2022

Linking quantitative genetics with community-level performance: Are there operational models for plant breeding?

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Abstract

Plant breeding is focused on the genotype and population levels while targeting effects at higher levels of biodiversity, from crop covers to agroecosystems. Making predictions across nested levels of biodiversity is therefore a major challenge for the development of intercropping practices. New prediction tools and concepts are required to design breeding strategies with desirable outcomes at the crop community level. We reviewed theoretical advances in the field of evolutionary ecology to identify potentially operational ways of predicting the effects of artificial selection on community-level performances. We identified three main types of approaches differing in the way they model interspecific indirect genetic effects (IIGEs) at the community level: (1) The community heritability approach estimates the variance for IIGE induced by a focal species at the community level; (2) the joint phenotype approach quantifies genetic constraints between direct genetic effects and IIGE for a set of interacting species; (3) the community-trait genetic gradient approach decomposes the IIGE for a focal species across a multivariate set of its functional traits. We discuss the potential operational capacities of these approaches and stress that each is a special case of a general multitrait and multispecies selection index. Choosing one therefore involves assumptions and goals regarding the breeding target and strategy. Obtaining reliable quantitative, community-level predictions at the genetic level is constrained by the size and complexity of the experimental designs usually required. Breeding strategies should instead be compared using theoretically informed qualitative predictions. The need to estimate genetic covariances between traits measured both within and among species (for IIGE) is another obstacle, as the two are not determined by the exact same biological processes. We suggest future research directions and strategies to overcome these limits. Our synthesis offers an integrative theoretical framework for breeders interested in the genetic improvement of crop communities but also for scientists interested in the genetic bases of plant community functioning.
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hal-03859835 , version 1 (18-11-2022)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Cyril Firmat, Isabelle Litrico-Chiarelli. Linking quantitative genetics with community-level performance: Are there operational models for plant breeding?. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2022, 13, pp.733996. ⟨10.3389/fpls.2022.733996⟩. ⟨hal-03859835⟩
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