Towards genomic selection in oilseed brassica
Animal breeders have paved the way for plant breeders to adopt the principles of association genetics to improve the rate of genetic progress in breeding programs. The total genetic value of an individual may be predicted from genome-wide markers in a process known as genomic selection. Analysis of a series of canola breeding trials by factor analytic modeling has demonstrated the value of including ancestral pedigree relationships for estimating additive and non-additive effects in a range of environments, and for modeling genotype by environment effects. In theory, this may be developed into genomic selection based on whole-genome markers in Brassica napus. Genomic selection is effective when large numbers of individuals are genotyped and phenotyped. The process of genomic selection will evolve from current methods for factor analytic modeling of multi-environment trials, but it is likely that genomic selection will also modify the way we breed plants.