Additive and non-additive genetic variance in juvenile Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis Bong. Carr)

Joanna Ilska, Daniel Tolhurst, H. Tumas, P. Maclean, Joan Cottrell, S.J. Lee, J. Mackay, John Woolliams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Many quantitative genetic models assume that all genetic variation is additive because of a lack of data with sufcient structure and quality to determine the relative contribution of additive and non-additive variation. Here the fractions of additive (fa) and non-additive (fd) genetic variation were estimated in Sitka spruce for height, bud burst and pilodyn penetration depth.
Approximately 1500 ofspring were produced in each of three sib families and clonally replicated across three geographically diverse sites. Genotypes from 1525 ofspring from all three families were obtained by RADseq, followed by imputation using 1630 loci segregating in all families and mapped using the newly developed linkage map of Sitka spruce. The analyses employed a new approach for estimating fa and fd, which combined all available genotypic and phenotypic data with spatial modelling for each trait and site. The consensus estimate for fa increased with age for height from 0.58 at 2 years to 0.75 at
11 years, with only small overlap in 95% support intervals (I95). The estimated fa for bud burst was 0.83 (I95=[0.78, 0.90]) and 0.84 (I95=[0.77, 0.92]) for pilodyn depth. Overall, there was no evidence of family heterogeneity for height or bud burst, or site heterogeneity for pilodyn depth, and no evidence of inbreeding depression associated with genomic homozygosity, expected if dominance variance was the major component of non-additive variance. The results offer no support for the development of sublines for crossing within the species. The models give new opportunities to assess more accurately the scale of non-additive variation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalTree Genetics and Genomes
Issue number6
Early online date8 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Epistasis
  • Genetic variance
  • Non-additive variation
  • RADseq
  • Single-step
  • Sitka spruce
  • Spatial model


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