In clonally propagated crops, non-additive genetic effects can be effectively exploited by the identification of superior genetic individuals as varieties. Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a clonally propagated staple food crop that feeds hundreds of millions. We quantified the amount and nature of non-additive genetic variation for three key traits in a breeding population of cassava from sub-Saharan Africa using additive and non-additive genome-wide marker-based relationship matrices. We then assessed the accuracy of genomic prediction for total (additive plus non-additive) genetic value. We confirmed previous findings based on diallel populations, that non-additive genetic variation is significant for key cassava traits. Specifically, we found that dominance is particularly important for root yield and epistasis contributes strongly to variation in CMD resistance. Further, we showed that total genetic value predicted observed phenotypes more accurately than additive only models for root yield but not for dry matter content, which is mostly additive or for CMD resistance, which has high narrow-sense heritability. We address the implication of these results for cassava breeding and put our work in the context of previous results in cassava, and other plant and animal species.
- Received July 8, 2016.
- Accepted August 21, 2016.
- Copyright © 2016 Author et al.
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