A Two-Part Strategy using Genomic Selection in Hybrid Crop Breeding Programs
Hybrid crop breeding programs using a two-part strategy produced the most genetic gain, but a maximum avoidance of inbreeding crossing scheme was required to increase long-term genetic gain. The two-part strategy uses outbred parents to complete multiple generations per year to reduce the generation interval of hybrid crop breeding programs. The maximum avoidance of inbreeding crossing scheme manages genetic variance by maintaining uniform contributions and inbreeding coefficients across all
... ients across all crosses. This study performed stochastic simulations to quantify the potential of a two-part strategy in combination with two crossing schemes to increase the rate of genetic gain in hybrid crop breeding programs. The two crossing schemes were: (i) a circular crossing scheme, and (ii) a maximum avoidance of inbreeding crossing scheme. The results from this study show that the implementation of genomic selection increased the rate of genetic gain, and that the two-part hybrid crop breeding program generated the highest genetic gain. This study also shows that the maximum avoidance of inbreeding crossing scheme increased long-term genetic gain in two-part hybrid crop breeding programs completing multiple selection cycles per year, as a result of maintaining higher levels of genetic variance over time. The flexibility of the two-part strategy offers further opportunities to integrate new technologies to further increase genetic gain in hybrid crop breeding programs, such as the use of outbred training populations. However, the practical implementation of the two-part strategy will require the development of bespoke transition strategies to fundamentally change the data, logistics, and infrastructure that underpin hybrid crop breeding programs.