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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366316

Research Project: Improving Crop Efficiency Using Genomic Diversity and Computational Modeling

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Title: Relative utility of agronomic, phenological, and morphological traits for assessing genotype-by-environment interaction in maize inbreds

item FALCON, CELESTE - University Of Wisconsin
item KAEPPLER, SHAWN - University Of Wisconsin
item SPALDING, EDGAR - University Of Wisconsin
item MILLER, NATHAN - University Of Wisconsin
item HAASE, NICHOLAS - University Of Wisconsin
item ALKHALIFAH, NASER - University Of Wisconsin
item BOHN, MARTIN - University Of Illinois
item Buckler, Edward - Ed
item CAMPBELL, DARWIN - Iowa State University
item CIAMPITTI, IGNACIO - Kansas State University
item COFFEY, LISA - Iowa State University
item Edwards, Jode
item ERTL, DAVID - Iowa Corn Promotion Board
item Flint-Garcia, Sherry
item GORE, MICHAEL - Cornell University
item GRAHAM, CHRISTOPHER - South Dakota State University
item HIRSCH, CANDICE - University Of Minnesota
item Holland, Jim - Jim
item JARQUIN, DIEGO - University Of Nebraska
item Knoll, Joseph - Joe
item Lauter, Nicholas
item LAWRENCE-DILL, CAROLYN - Iowa State University
item LEE, ELIZABETH - University Of Guelph
item LORENZ, AARON - University Of Minnesota
item LYNCH, JONATHAN - Pennsylvania State University
item MURRAY, SETH - Texas A&M University
item NELSON, REBECCA - Cornell University
item ROMAY, M. CINTA - Cornell University
item ROCHEFORD, TORBERT - Purdue University
item SCHNABLE, PATRICK - Iowa State University
item Scully, Brian
item Smith, Margaret
item SPRINGER, NATHAN - University Of Minnesota
item TUINSTRA, MITCH - Purdue University
item WALTON, RENEE - Iowa State University
item WELDEKIDAN, TECLEMARIAM - University Of Delaware
item WISSER, RANDALL - University Of Delaware
item XU, WENWEI - Texas A&M University
item DE LEON, NATALIA - University Of Wisconsin

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/2/2019
Publication Date: 1/1/2020
Citation: Falcon, C.M., Kaeppler, S.M., Spalding, E.P., Miller, N.D., Haase, N., Alkhalifah, N., Bohn, M., Buckler IV, E.S., Campbell, D.A., Ciampitti, I., Coffey, L., Edwards, J.W., Ertl, D., Flint Garcia, S.A., Gore, M.A., Graham, C., Hirsch, C.N., Holland, J.B., Jarquin, D., Knoll, J.E., Lauter, N.C., Lawrence-Dill, C.J., Lee, E.C., Lorenz, A., Lynch, J.P., Murray, S.C., Nelson, R., Romay, M., Rocheford, T., Schnable, P., Scully, B.T., Smith, M.C., Springer, N., Tuinstra, M., Walton, R., Weldekidan, T., Wisser, R.J., Xu, W., De Leon, N. Relative utility of agronomic, phenological, and morphological traits for assessing genotype-by-environment interaction in maize inbreds. Crop Science. 2020; 60:62-81.

Interpretive Summary: Developing cultivars that are highly productive across wide geographical areas, variable weather patterns and different management practices remains a major challenge in U.S. Agriculture. A study was conducted to evaluate a set of maize inbred lines across a very wide range of different environments to explore factors that underlie stability of performance. Stability was not found to be related to performance, which is important because this means that it is possible to develop high performing and stable cultivars. Performance was more stable in midwest locations than eastern and western locations. These results will benefit breeders and geneticists and will ultimately help to design breeding programs that produce more stable cultivars.

Technical Abstract: An improved understanding of genotype-by-environment interaction (G × E) may enable plant breeders to breed more comprehensively for expanded geographical regions. In this study of 31 maize inbreds grown in 36 environments that are part of the Genomes to Fields Initiative, we measured 14 traits, including flowering date, height, and yield-components and sought to: 1) identify traits that are the most sensitive indicators of G × E, 2) determine how differences in geographical location and weather factors influence environments’ discriminability among inbred lines, and 3) detect patterns of stability in better and worse discriminating environments. Genotype-by-environment interaction explained between 9.0 and 20.4% of the phenotypic variance with greater effects on most of the yield-component traits, suggesting that future studies of G × E will benefit from including these traits. Discriminability of environments varied by trait. Midwest locations (where 26 of the 31 inbreds were originally developed) were among the most discriminating environments for more traits, while environments in the West and East tended to be among the least discriminating environments. Stability of genotypes varied by trait, and in most cases, performance was not correlated with stability. With a few exceptions, stability tended to be higher in the Midwest compared to more Western and Eastern locations. At the same time, stability is not desired for all traits, as it is better for plants to achieve their greatest potential in good environments for traits contributing to improved yield. The dissection of complex traits such as yield into components traits appears to be a useful approach to understand how components of the environment can differentially affect the expression of phenotypes.