Scripts and data of genotyping marker density reduction is not an effective approach in long-term prediction-based breeding of cross-pollinated crops
Reductions of genotyping marker density have been extensively evaluated as potential strategies to reduce the genotyping costs of genomic selection (GS). Low-density marker panels are appealing in GS because they entail lower multicollinearity and computational time-consumption and allow more individuals to be genotyped for the same cost. However, statistical models used in GS are usually evaluated with empirical data, using "static" training sets and populations. This may be adequate for making predictions during a breeding program's initial cycles, but not for the long term. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, no GS models consider the effect of dominance, which is particularly important for breeding outcomes in cross-pollinated crops. Hence, dominance effects are an important and unexplored issue in GS for long-term programs involving allogamous species. To address it, we employed two approaches: analysis of empirical maize datasets and simulations of long-term breeding applying phenotypic and genomic recurrent selection (intrapopulation and reciprocal schemes). In both schemes, we simulated twenty breeding cycles and assessed the effect of marker density reduction on the population mean, the best crosses, additive variance, selective accuracy, and response to selection with models (additive, additive-dominant, general (GCA), and specific combining ability (SCA)). Our results indicate that marker reduction based on linkage disequilibrium levels provides useful predictions only within a cycle, as accuracy significantly decreases over cycles. In the long-term, high-marker density provides the best responses to selection. The model to be used depends on the breeding scheme: additive for intrapopulation and additive-dominant or SCA for reciprocal.