Theoretical and experimental assessment of genome-based prediction in landraces of allogamous crops

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 May 3;119(18):e2121797119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2121797119. Epub 2022 Apr 29.


Discovery and enrichment of favorable alleles in landraces are key to making them accessible for crop improvement. Here, we present two fundamentally different concepts for genome-based selection in landrace-derived maize populations, one based on doubled-haploid (DH) lines derived directly from individual landrace plants and the other based on crossing landrace plants to a capture line. For both types of populations, we show theoretically how allele frequencies of the ancestral landrace and the capture line translate into expectations for molecular and genetic variances. We show that the DH approach has clear advantages over gamete capture with generally higher prediction accuracies and no risk of masking valuable variation of the landrace. Prediction accuracies as high as 0.58 for dry matter yield in the DH population indicate high potential of genome-based selection. Based on a comparison among traits, we show that the genetic makeup of the capture line has great influence on the success of genome-based selection and that confounding effects between the alleles of the landrace and the capture line are best controlled for traits for which the capture line does not outperform the ancestral population per se or in testcrosses. Our results will guide the optimization of genome-enabled prebreeding schemes.

Keywords: doubled haploids; gamete capture; genomic selection; landraces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Zea mays* / genetics