Modeling Genotype × Environment Interaction Using a Factor Analytic Model of On-Farm Wheat Trials in the Yaqui Valley of Mexico
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On-farm trials of bread and durum wheat in the Yaqui Valley region of southern Sonora, Mexico, were established for three cropping seasons (2012, 2013, and 2015) using the management practices implemented by farmers. The trials comprised bread and durum wheats that were sown together under two regimes: full irrigation and reduced irrigation. The experiments were replicated and unbalanced, as several bread wheat and durum wheat lines were not repeated during the 3 yr. We studied the interaction between bread and durum wheats and environments (farmer-irrigation-year combinations). To model the crossover interaction (COI) and the non-COI components of the genotype x environment interaction (GxE) between the wheat lines and the environments, we used a linear mixed model with the Factor Analytic (FA) model, a parsimonious model that is similar to the multiple regression of lines on environments based on latent variables. In this case, we modeled the combined effects of the wheat lines and their interactions with the farmer-irrigation-year combinations. Results show the separation of the dynamic (unpredictable) component of the interaction (year) from the more static component of the interaction due to farmer and irrigation level. The FA model offers a useful alternative for modeling interactions in agronomy-breeding experiments to dissect and account for complex interactions that are common in agriculture experiments. Furthermore, stable wheat lines across all environments were also detected, as well the environments that caused most of the interaction.
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