Prediction of malting quality traits in barley based on genome-wide marker data to assess the potential of genomic selection
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Genomic prediction of malting quality traits in barley shows the potential of applying genomic selection to improve selection for malting quality and speed up the breeding process.
Genomic selection has been applied to various plant species, mostly for yield or yield-related traits such as grain dry matter yield or thousand kernel weight, and improvement of resistances against diseases. Quality traits have not been the main scope of analysis for genomic selection, but have rather been addressed by marker-assisted selection. In this study, the potential to apply genomic selection to twelve malting quality traits in two commercial breeding programs of spring and winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was assessed. Phenotypic means were calculated combining multilocational field trial data from 3 or 4 years, depending on the trait investigated. Three to five locations were available in each of these years. Heritabilities for malting traits ranged between 0.50 and 0.98. Predictive abilities (PA), as derived from cross validation, ranged between 0.14 to 0.58 for spring barley and 0.40–0.80 for winter barley. Small training sets were shown to be sufficient to obtain useful PAs, possibly due to the narrow genetic base in this breeding material. Deployment of genomic selection in malting barley breeding clearly has the potential to reduce cost intensive phenotyping for quality traits, increase selection intensity and to shorten breeding cycles.
KeywordsQuantitative Trait Locus Genomic Selection Spring Barley Winter Barley Training Population
The authors greatly thank Professor Mark E. Sorrells (Cornell University, USA) and Dr. Edward Henry Byrne (KWS UK Ltd., UK) for careful reading and providing useful comments for this manuscript. This research was supported by Grant (FKZ 0315960) from the Bundesministerium Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) within the framework of the PLANT 2030 program.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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