Calleja-Rodriguez A, Chen Z, Suontama M, Pan J, Wu HX
Front Plant Sci 12 (-) 666820 [2021-07-07; online 2021-07-07]
Genomic selection study (GS) focusing on nonadditive genetic effects of dominance and the first order of epistatic effects, in a full-sib family population of 695 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees, was undertaken for growth and wood quality traits, using 6,344 single nucleotide polymorphism markers (SNPs) generated by genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS). Genomic marker-based relationship matrices offer more effective modeling of nonadditive genetic effects than pedigree-based models, thus increasing the knowledge on the relevance of dominance and epistatic variation in forest tree breeding. Genomic marker-based models were compared with pedigree-based models showing a considerable dominance and epistatic variation for growth traits. Nonadditive genetic variation of epistatic nature (additive × additive) was detected for growth traits, wood density (DEN), and modulus of elasticity (MOEd) representing between 2.27 and 34.5% of the total phenotypic variance. Including dominance variance in pedigree-based Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (PBLUP) and epistatic variance in genomic-based Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (GBLUP) resulted in decreased narrow-sense heritability and increased broad-sense heritability for growth traits, DEN and MOEd. Higher genetic gains were reached with early GS based on total genetic values, than with conventional pedigree selection for a selection intensity of 1%. This study indicates that nonadditive genetic variance may have a significant role in the variation of selection traits of Scots pine, thus clonal deployment could be an attractive alternative for the species. Additionally, confidence in the role of nonadditive genetic effects in this breeding program should be pursued in the future, using GS.