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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Accuracy of genomic selection for growth and wood quality traits in two control-pollinated progeny trials using exome capture as the genotyping platform in Norway spruce

Chen, Zhi-Qiang; Baison, John; Pan, Jin; Karlsson, Bo; Andersson, Bengt; Westin, Johan; Garcia-Gil, Maria Rosario; Wu, Harry X.


BackgroundGenomic selection (GS) can increase genetic gain by reducing the length of breeding cycle in forest trees. Here we genotyped 1370 control-pollinated progeny trees from 128 full-sib families in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), using exome capture as genotyping platform. We used 116,765 high-quality SNPs to develop genomic prediction models for tree height and wood quality traits. We assessed the impact of different genomic prediction methods, genotype-by-environment interaction (GxE), genetic composition, size of the training and validation set, relatedness, and number of SNPs on accuracy and predictive ability (PA) of GS.ResultsUsing G matrix slightly altered heritability estimates relative to pedigree-based method. GS accuracies were about 11-14% lower than those based on pedigree-based selection. The efficiency of GS per year varied from 1.71 to 1.78, compared to that of the pedigree-based model if breeding cycle length was halved using GS. Height GS accuracy decreased to more than 30% while using one site as training for GS prediction and using this model to predict the second site, indicating that GxE for tree height should be accommodated in model fitting. Using a half-sib family structure instead of full-sib structure led to a significant reduction in GS accuracy and PA. The full-sib family structure needed only 750 markers to reach similar accuracy and PA, as compared to 100,000 markers required for the half-sib family, indicating that maintaining the high relatedness in the model improves accuracy and PA. Using 4000-8000 markers in full-sib family structure was sufficient to obtain GS model accuracy and PA for tree height and wood quality traits, almost equivalent to that obtained with all markers.ConclusionsThe study indicates that GS would be efficient in reducing generation time of breeding cycle in conifer tree breeding program that requires long-term progeny testing. The sufficient number of trees within-family (16 for growth and 12 for wood quality traits) and number of SNPs (8000) are required for GS with full-sib family relationship. GS methods had little impact on GS efficiency for growth and wood quality traits. GS model should incorporate GxE effect when a strong GxE is detected.


Norway spruce; Exome capture; Genotype-by-environment interaction; GBLUP; Bayesian LASSO; Bayesian ridge regression; RKHS

Published in

BMC Genomics
2018, Volume: 19, article number: 946
Publisher: BMC