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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Integrating genome-wide association mapping of additive and dominance genetic effects to improve genomic prediction accuracy in Eucalyptus

Tan, Biyue; Ingvarsson, Par K.


Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) is a powerful and widely used approach to decipher the genetic control of complex traits. Still, a significant challenge for dissecting quantitative traits in forest trees is statistical power. This study uses a population consisting of 1,123 samples derived from two successive generations of crosses between Eucalyptus grandis (W. Hill) and E. urophylla (S.T. Blake). All samples have been phenotyped for growth and wood property traits and genotyped using the EuChip60K chip, yielding 37,832 informative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We use multi-locus GWAS models to assess additive and dominance effects to identify markers associated with growth and wood property traits in the eucalypt hybrids. Additive and dominance association models identified 78 and 82 significant SNPs across all traits, respectively, which captured between 39 and 86% of the genomic-based heritability. We also used SNPs identified from the GWAS and SNPs using less stringent significance thresholds to evaluate predictive abilities in a genomic selection framework. Genomic selection models based on the top 1% SNPs captured a substantially greater proportion of the genetic variance of traits compared with when we used all SNPs for model training. The prediction ability of estimated breeding values improved significantly for all traits when using either the top 1% SNPs or SNPs identified using a relaxed p value threshold (p < 10(-3)). This study also highlights the added value of incorporating dominance effects for identifying genomic regions controlling growth traits in trees. Moreover, integrating GWAS results into genomic selection method provides enhanced power relative to discrete associations for identifying genomic variation potentially valuable for forest tree breeding.

Published in

The Plant Genome
2022, volume: 15, number: 2, article number: e20208
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Tan, Biyue
Umea University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Biology

UKÄ Subject classification


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