Accuracy of across-environment genome-wide prediction in maize nested association mapping populations

Zhigang Guo, Dominic M. Tucker, Daolong Wang, Christopher J. Basten, Elhan Ersoz, William H. Briggs, Jianwei Lu, Min Li, Gilles Gay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most of previous empirical studies with genome-wide prediction were focused on withinenvironment prediction based on a single-environment (SE) model. In this study, we evaluated accuracy improvements of across-environment prediction by using genetic and residual covariance across correlated environments. Predictions with a multienvironment (ME) model were evaluated for two corn polygenic leaf structure traits, leaf length and leaf width, based on within-population (WP) and across-population (AP) experiments using a large maize nested association mapping data set consisting of 25 populations of recombinant inbred-lines. To make our study more applicable to plant breeding, two cross-validation schemes were used by evaluating accuracies of (CV1) predicting unobserved phenotypes of untested lines and (CV2) predicting unobserved phenotypes of lines that have been evaluated in some environments but not others. We concluded that (1) genome-wide prediction provided greater prediction accuracies than traditional quantitative trait loci-based prediction in both WP and AP and provided more advantages over quantitative trait loci -based prediction for WP than for AP. (2) Prediction accuracy with ME was significantly greater than that attained by SE in CV1 and CV2, and gains with ME over SE were greater in CV2 than in CV1. These gains were also greater in WP than in AP in both CV1 and CV2. (3) Gains with ME over SE attributed to genetic correlation between environments, with little effect from residual correlation. Impacts of marker density on predictions also were investigated in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Best linear unbiased prediction
  • Genetic correlation
  • GenPred
  • Maize
  • Ridge regression
  • Shared data resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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