Genomics combined with UAS data enhances prediction of grain yield in winter wheat
With the human population continuing to increase worldwide, there is pressure to employ novel technologies to increase genetic gain in plant breeding programs that contribute to nutrition and food security. Genomic selection (GS) has the potential to increase genetic gain because it can accelerate the breeding cycle, increase the accuracy of estimated breeding values, and improve selection accuracy. However, with recent advances in high throughput phenotyping in plant breeding programs, the opportunity to integrate genomic and phenotypic data to increase prediction accuracy is present. In this paper, we applied GS to winter wheat data integrating two types of inputs: genomic and phenotypic. We observed the best accuracy of grain yield when combining both genomic and phenotypic inputs, while only using genomic information fared poorly. In general, the predictions with only phenotypic information were very competitive to using both sources of information, and in many cases using only phenotypic information provided the best accuracy. Our results are encouraging because it is clear we can enhance the prediction accuracy of GS by integrating high quality phenotypic inputs in the models.