A model for marker-assisted selection among single crosses with multiple genetic markers
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Trait means of marker genotypes are often inconsistent across experiments, thereby hindering the use of regression techniques in marker-assisted selection. Best linear unbiased prediction based on trait and marker data (TM-BLUP) does not require prior information on the mean effects associated with specific marker genotypes and, consequently, may be useful in applied breeding programs. The objective of this paper is to present a flanking-marker, TM-BLUP model that is applicable to interpopulation single crosses that characterize maize (Zea mays L.) breeding programs. The performance of a single cross is modeled as the sum of testcross additive and dominance effects at unmarked quantitative trait loci (QTL) and at marked QTL (MQTL). The TM-BLUP model requires information on the recombination frequencies between flanking markers and the MQTL and on MQTL variances. A tabular method is presented for calculating the conditional probability that MQTL alleles in two inbreds are identical by descent given the observed marker genotypes (G k obs) at the kth MQTL. Information on identity by descent of MQTL alleles can then be used to calculate the conditional covariance of MQTL effects between single crosses given G k obs. The inverse of the covariance matrix for dominance effects at unmarked QTL and MQTL can be written directly from the inverse of the covariance matrices of the corresponding testcross additive effects. In practice, the computations required in TM-BLUP may be prohibitive. The computational requirements may be reduced with simplified TM-BLUP models wherein dominance effects at MQTL are excluded, only the single crosses that have been tested are included, or information is pooled across several MQTL.
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