Multivariate genomic hybrid prediction with kernels and parental information
Genomic selection (GS) plays a pivotal role in hybrid prediction. It can enhance the selection of parental lines, accurately predict hybrid performance, and harness hybrid vigor. Likewise, it can optimize breeding strategies by reducing field trial requirements, expediting hybrid development, facilitating targeted trait improvement, and enhancing adaptability to diverse environments. Leveraging genomic information empowers breeders to make informed decisions and significantly improve the efficiency and success rate of hybrid breeding programs. In order to improve the genomic ability performance, we explored the incorporation of parental phenotypic information as covariates under a multi-trait framework. Approach 1, referred to as Pmean, directly utilized parental phenotypic information without any preprocessing. While approach 2, denoted as BV, replaced the direct use of phenotypic values of both parents with their respective breeding values. While an improvement in prediction performance was observed in both approaches, with a minimum 4.24% reduction in the normalized root mean square error (NRMSE), the direct incorporation of parental phenotypic information in the Pmean approach slightly outperformed the BV approach. We also compared these two approaches using linear and nonlinear kernels, but no relevant gain was observed. Finally, our results increase empirical evidence confirming that the integration of parental phenotypic information helps increase the prediction performance of hybrids.