Adam Norman, Julian Taylor, Emi Tanaka, Paul Telfer, James Edwards, Jean-Pierre Martinant, Haydn Kuchel
Genomic prediction accuracy within a large panel was found to be substantially higher than that previously observed in smaller populations, and also higher than QTL-based prediction.
In recent years, genomic selection for wheat breeding has been widely studied, but this has typically been restricted to population sizes under 1000 individuals. To assess its efficacy in germplasm representative of commercial breeding programmes, we used a panel of 10,375 Australian wheat breeding lines to investigate the accuracy of genomic prediction for grain yield, physical grain quality and other physiological traits. To achieve this, the complete panel was phenotyped in a dedicated field trial and genotyped using a custom AxiomTM Affymetrix SNP array. A high-quality consensus map was also constructed, allowing the linkage disequilibrium present in the germplasm to be investigated. Using the complete SNP array, genomic prediction accuracies were found to be substantially higher than those previously observed in smaller populations and also more accurate compared to prediction approaches using a finite number of selected quantitative trait loci. Multi-trait genetic correlations were also assessed at an additive and residual genetic level, identifying a negative genetic correlation between grain yield and protein as well as a positive genetic correlation between grain size and test weight.