Gondwana Genomics recently published a study in the scientific journal G3 on dominance effects influencing growth traits in Eucalyptus nitens. E. nitens is an important plantation species due to its fast-growing nature and resistance to frost. It is a popular species grown in plantations across Australia and particularly in Tasmania. Genomic selection is fast becoming an important tool in informing plantation tree breeding programs.
Most genomic selection (GS) studies are focused on estimating additive genetic effects. However, exploiting the dominance effects offers additional opportunities to improve genetic gain. To detect dominance effects, trait relevant markers may be important compared to non-selected markers.
In the current study, pre-selected markers associated with different traits were used to explore the additive and non-additive effects of growth and wood traits in E. nitens.
Significant dominance effects influencing growth traits were observed and the inclusion of dominance in the prediction model increased the predictive ability and prediction accuracy.
The practical significance of these results is that dominance along with additive effects can be exploited for higher genetic gain compared to using only the additive effects in breeding programs.
You can read the study in full here.