Genomic prediction of maize yield across European environmental conditions

Emilie J. Millet, Willem Kruijer, Aude Coupel-Ledru, Santiago Alvarez Prado, Llorenç Cabrera-Bosquet, Sébastien Lacube, Alain Charcosset, Claude Welcker, Fred van Eeuwijk, François Tardieu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


The development of germplasm adapted to changing climate is required to ensure food security1,2. Genomic prediction is a powerful tool to evaluate many genotypes but performs poorly in contrasting environmental scenarios3–7 (genotype × environment interaction), in spite of promising results for flowering time8. New avenues are opened by the development of sensor networks for environmental characterization in thousands of fields9,10. We present a new strategy for germplasm evaluation under genotype × environment interaction. Yield was dissected in grain weight and number and genotype × environment interaction in these components was modeled as genotypic sensitivity to environmental drivers. Environments were characterized using genotype-specific indices computed from sensor data in each field and the progression of phenology calibrated for each genotype on a phenotyping platform. A whole-genome regression approach for the genotypic sensitivities led to accurate prediction of yield under genotype × environment interaction in a wide range of environmental scenarios, outperforming a benchmark approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)952-956
JournalNature Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2019


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