High-throughput phenotyping platforms enhance genomic selection for wheat grain yield across populations and cycles in early stage.
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Genomic selection (GS) models have been validated for many quantitative traits in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) breeding. However, those models are mostly constrained within the same growing cycle and the extension of GS to the case of across cycles has been a challenge, mainly due to the low predictive accuracy resulting from two factors: reduced genetic relationships between different families and augmented environmental variances between cycles. Using the data collected from diverse field conditions at the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center, we evaluated GS for grain yield in three elite yield trials across three wheat growing cycles. The objective of this project was to employ the secondary traits, canopy temperature, and green normalized difference vegetation index, which are closely associated with grain yield from high-throughput phenotyping platforms, to improve prediction accuracy for grain yield. The ability to predict grain yield was evaluated reciprocally across three cycles with or without secondary traits. Our results indicate that prediction accuracy increased by an average of 146% for grain yield across cycles with secondary traits. In addition, our results suggest that secondary traits phenotyped during wheat heading and early grain filling stages were optimal for enhancing the prediction accuracy for grain yield.
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