Leveraging data from the Genomes-to-Fields Initiative to investigate genotype-by-environment interactions in maize in North America
Document Type Article
Genotype-by-environment (G×E) interactions can significantly affect crop performance and stability. Investigating G×E requires extensive data sets with diverse cultivars tested over multiple locations and years. The Genomes-to-Fields (G2F) Initiative has tested maize hybrids in more than 130 year-locations in North America since 2014. Here, we curate and expand this data set by generating environmental covariates (using a crop model) for each of the trials. The resulting data set includes DNA genotypes and environmental data linked to more than 70,000 phenotypic records of grain yield and flowering traits for more than 4000 hybrids. We show how this valuable data set can serve as a benchmark in agricultural modeling and prediction, paving the way for countless G×E investigations in maize. We use multivariate analyses to characterize the data set’s genetic and environmental structure, study the association of key environmental factors with traits, and provide benchmarks using genomic prediction models.