Evaluating and Predicting the Performance of Sorghum Lines in an Elite by Exotic Backcross-Nested Association Mapping Population. Academic Article uri icon


  • Maintaining or introducing genetic diversity into plant breeding programs is necessary for continual genetic gain; however, diversity at the cost of reduced performance is not something sought by breeders. To this end, backcross-nested association mapping (BC-NAM) populations, in which the recurrent parent is an elite line, can be employed as a strategy to introgress diversity from unadapted accessions while maintaining agronomic performance. This study evaluates (i) the hybrid performance of sorghum lines from 18 BC1-NAM families and (ii) the potential of genomic prediction to screen lines from BC1-NAM families for hybrid performance prior to phenotypic evaluation. Despite the diverse geographical origins and agronomic performance of the unadapted parents for BC1-NAM families, many BC1-derived lines performed significantly better in the hybrid trials than the elite recurrent parent, R.Tx436. The genomic prediction accuracies for grain yield, plant height, and days to mid-anthesis were acceptable, but the prediction accuracies for plant height were lower than expected. While the prediction accuracies increased when including more individuals in the training set, improvements tended to plateau between two and five lines per family, with larger training sets being required for more complex traits such as grain yield. Therefore, genomic prediction models can be optimized in a large BC1-NAM population with a relatively low fraction of individuals needing to be evaluated. These results suggest that genomic prediction is an effective method of pre-screening lines within BC1-NAM families prior to evaluation in extensive hybrid field trials.

published proceedings

  • Plants (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Crozier, D., Winans, N. D., Hoffmann, L., Patil, N. Y., Klein, P. E., Klein, R. R., & Rooney, W. L.

complete list of authors

  • Crozier, Daniel||Winans, Noah D||Hoffmann, Leo||Patil, Nikhil Y||Klein, Patricia E||Klein, Robert R||Rooney, William L

publication date

  • March 2024


published in