Genome enabled prediction provides breeders with the means to increase the number of genotypes that can be evaluated for selection. One of the major challenges in genome enabled prediction is how to construct a training set of genotypes from a calibration set that represents the target population of genotypes, where the calibration set is composed of a training and validation set. A random sampling protocol of genotypes from the calibration set will lead to low quality coverage of the total genetic space by the training set when the calibration set contains population structure. As a consequence, predictive ability will be affected negatively, because some parts of the genotypic diversity in the target population will be under represented in the training set, whereas other parts will be over represented. Therefore, we propose a training set construction method that uniformly samples the genetic space spanned by the target population of genotypes, thereby increasing predictive ability. To evaluate our method, we constructed training sets alongside with the identification of corresponding genomic prediction models for four genotype panels that differed in the amount of population structure they contained (maize Flint, maize Dent, wheat, and rice). Training sets were constructed using uniform sampling, stratified-uniform sampling, stratified sampling and random sampling. We compared these methods with a method that maximizes the generalized coefficient of determination (CD), proposed by Rincent et al. (2012). Several training set sizes were considered. We investigated four genomic prediction models: multi-locus QTL models, GBLUP models, combinations of QTLs and GBLUPs, and Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces (RKHS) models. For the maize and wheat panels, construction of the training set under uniform sampling led to a larger predictive ability than under stratified and random sampling. The results of our methods were similar to those of the CD method. For the rice panel, all training set construction methods led to similar predictive ability, a reflection of the very strong population structure in this panel.
Bustos-Korts, D., Malosetti Zunin, M., Chapman, S., Biddulph, B., & Van Eeuwijk, F. (2016). Improvement of Predictive Ability by Uniform Coverage of the Target Genetic Space. G3 : Genes Genomes Genetics, 6(11), 3733-3747. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.116.035410