Origin specific genomic selection: a simple process to optimize the favorable contribution of parents to progeny
Modern crop breeding is in constant demand for new genetic diversity as part of the arms race with genetic gain. The elite gene pool has limited genetic variation and breeders are trying to introduce novelty from unadapted germplasm, landraces and wild relatives. For polygenic traits, currently available approaches to introgression are not ideal, as there is a demonstrable bias against exotic alleles during selection. Here, we propose a partitioned form of genomic selection, called Origin Specific Genomic Selection (OSGS), where we identify and target selection on favorable exotic alleles. Briefly, within a population derived from a bi-parental cross, we isolate alleles originating from the elite and exotic parents, which then allows us to separate out the predicted marker effects based on the allele origins. We validated the usefulness of OSGS using two nested association mapping (NAM) datasets: barley NAM (elite-exotic) and maize NAM (elite-elite), as well as by computer simulation. Our results suggest that OSGS works well in its goal to increase the contribution of favorable exotic alleles in bi-parental crosses, and it is possible to extend the approach to broader multi-parental populations.