Animal breeders have paved the way for plant breeders to adopt the
principles of association genetics to improve the rate of genetic progress
in breeding programs. The total genetic value of an individual may be
predicted from genome-wide markers in a process known as genomic
selection. Analysis of a series of canola breeding trials by factor analytic
modeling has demonstrated the value of including ancestral pedigree
relationships for estimating additive and non-additive effects in a range
of environments, and for modeling genotype by environment effects.
In theory, this may be developed into genomic selection based on
whole-genome markers in Brassica napus. Genomic selection is effective
when large numbers of individuals are genotyped and phenotyped.
The process of genomic selection will evolve from current methods for
factor analytic modeling of multi-environment trials, but it is likely that
genomic selection will also modify the way we breed plants.