Genomic prediction with a maize collaborative panel: identification of genetic resources to enrich elite breeding programs

Theor Appl Genet. 2020 Jan;133(1):201-215. doi: 10.1007/s00122-019-03451-9. Epub 2019 Oct 8.


Collaborative diversity panels and genomic prediction seem relevant to identify and harness genetic resources for polygenic trait-specific enrichment of elite germplasms. In plant breeding, genetic diversity is important to maintain the pace of genetic gain and the ability to respond to new challenges in a context of climatic and social expectation changes. Many genetic resources are accessible to breeders but cannot all be considered for broadening the genetic diversity of elite germplasm. This study presents the use of genomic predictions trained on a collaborative diversity panel, which assembles genetic resources and elite lines, to identify resources to enrich an elite germplasm. A maize collaborative panel (386 lines) was considered to estimate genome-wide marker effects. Relevant predictive abilities (0.40-0.55) were observed on a large population of private elite materials, which supported the interest of such a collaborative panel for diversity management perspectives. Grain-yield estimated marker effects were used to select a donor that best complements an elite recipient at individual loci or haplotype segments, or that is expected to give the best-performing progeny with the elite. Among existing and new criteria that were compared, some gave more weight to the donor-elite complementarity than to the donor value, and appeared more adapted to long-term objective. We extended this approach to the selection of a set of donors complementing an elite population. We defined a crossing plan between identified donors and elite recipients. Our results illustrated how collaborative projects based on diversity panels including both public resources and elite germplasm can contribute to a better characterization of genetic resources in view of their use to enrich elite germplasm.

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Genomics*
  • Genotype
  • Haploidy
  • Models, Genetic
  • Plant Breeding*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics
  • Zea mays / genetics*