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Data from: Effect of trait's expression level on single-step genomic evaluation of resistance to Dothistroma needle blight


Klápště, Jaroslav; Dungey, Heidi; Graham, Natalie; Telfer, Emily (2020), Data from: Effect of trait's expression level on single-step genomic evaluation of resistance to Dothistroma needle blight, Dryad, Dataset,


Many conifer breeding programs are paying increasing attention to breeding for resistance to needle disease due to the increasing importance of climate change. Phenotyping of traits related to resistance has many biological and temporal constraints that can often confound the ability to achieve reliable phenotypes and consequently, reliable genetic progress. The development of next generation sequencing platforms has also enabled implementation of genomic approaches in species lacking robust reference genomes. Genomic selection is, therefore, a promising strategy to overcome the constraints of needle disease phenotyping.
We found high accuracy in the prediction of genomic breeding values in the disease-related traits that were well characterized, reaching 0.975 for genotyped individuals and 0.587 for non-genotyped individuals. This compared well with pedigree-based accuracies of up to 0.746. Surprisingly, poorly phenotyped disease traits also showed very high accuracy in terms of correlation of predicted genomic breeding values with pedigree-based counterparts. However, this was likely caused by the fact that both were clustered around the population mean, while deviations from the population mean caused by genetic effects did not appear to be well described. Caution should therefore be taken with the interpretation of results in poorly phenotyped traits. 
Implementation of genomic selection in this test population of \textit{Pinus radiata} resulted in a relatively high prediction accuracy of needle loss due to \textit{Dothistroma septosporum} compared with a pedigree-based approach. Using genomics to avoid biological/temporal constraints where phenotyping is reliable appears promising. Unsurprisingly, reliable phenotyping, resulting in good heritability estimates, is a fundamental requirement for the development of a reliable prediction model. Furthermore, our results are also specific to the single pathogen mating-type that is present in New Zealand, and may change with future incursion of other pathogen varieties. There is no doubt, however, that once a robust genomic prediction model is built, it will be invaluable to not only select for host tolerance, but for other economically important traits simultaneously. This tool will thus future-proof our forests by mitigating the risk of disease outbreaks induced by future changes in climate.


Datafile contains datasets for three sites investigated in this study. Data for each site contains phenotypic data implemented in spatial analysis, phenotypic data representing spatiallly corrected phenotypes used in single-step genomic evaluation, documented pedigrees and genomic data for genotyped individuals. Phenotypic data were collected in field experiments. Genomic data were generated using exome capture platform.


Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Award: RPBC1301

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Award: C04X1703