Use of genomic prediction to screen sorghum B-lines in hybrid testcrosses.

Kent MA, Fonseca JMO, Klein PE, Klein RR, Hayes CM, Rooney WL

Published: 17 July 2023 in The plant genome
Keywords: No keywords in Pubmed
Pubmed ID: 37455349
DOI: 10.1002/tpg2.20369

Use of trifluoromethanesulfonamide (TFMSA), a male gametocide, increases the opportunities to identify promising B-lines because large quantities of F1 seed can be generated prior to the laborious task of B-line sterilization. Combining TFMSA technology with genomic selection could efficiently evaluate sorghum B-lines in hybrid combination to maximize the rates of genetic gain of the crop. This study used two recombinant inbred B-line populations, consisting of 217 lines, which were testcrossed to two R-lines to produce 434 hybrids. Each population of testcross hybrids were evaluated across five environments. Population-based genomic prediction models were assessed across environments using three different cross-validation (CV) schemes, each with 70% training and 30% validation sets. The validation schemes were as follows: CV1-hybrids chosen randomly for validation; CV2-B-lines were randomly chosen, and each chosen B-line had one of the two corresponding testcross hybrids randomly chosen for the validation; and CV3-B-lines were randomly chosen, and each chosen B-line had both corresponding testcross hybrids chosen for the validation. CV1 and CV2 presented the highest prediction accuracies; nonetheless, the prediction accuracies of the CV schemes were not statistically different in many environments. We determined that combining the B-line populations could improve prediction accuracies, and the genomic prediction models were able to effectively rank the poorest 70% of hybrids even when genomic prediction accuracies themselves were low. Results indicate that combining genomic prediction models and TFMSA technology can effectively aid breeders in predicting B-line hybrid performance in early generations prior to the laborious task of generating A/B-line pairs.