Evaluation of genomic selection training population designs and genotyping strategies in plant breeding programs using simulation
Genomic selection offers great potential for increasing the rate of genetic improvement in plant breeding programs. This research used simulation to evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies for genotyping and phenotyping to enable genomic selection in early generation individuals (e.g., F2) in breeding programs involving biparental or similar (e.g., backcross or top cross) populations. By using phenotypes that were previously collected in other biparental populations, selection decisions could be made without waiting for phenotypes that pertain directly to the selection candidate to be collected, a process that would take at least three growing seasons. If these phenotypes were collected in biparental populations that were closely related to the selection candidates, only a small number of markers (e.g., 200-500) and a small number of phenotypes (e.g., 1000) were needed to achieve effective accuracy of estimated breeding values. If these phenotypes were collected in biparental populations that were not closely related to the selection candidates, as many as 10,000 markers and 5000 to 20,000 phenotypes were needed. Increasing marker density beyond 10,000 markers did not show benefit and in some scenarios reduced the accuracy of prediction. This study provides a guide, enabling resource allocation to be optimized between genotyping and phenotyping investment dependent on the population under development.