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Santiago Alvarez Prado

Santiago Alvarez Prado

session, year:
2015 1st


Receiving laboratory:
UMR LEPSE Ecophysiology of Plants under Environmental Stresses, Montpellier

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Mobility project

Modelling maize genotype x environment interaction using genomic selection

Plants have a large phenotypic plasticity when subjected to changes in environmental conditions, thereby generating a high genotype x environment interaction. For this reason, the genomic prediction of yield is not stable in different situations. In the context of the Moise-Selgen project, I propose to split the genomic prediction process in two steps. (i) Establish a genetic model that predicts parameters of a crop model and not yield itself. These parameters are usually highly heritable and encapsulate the GxE interaction. They will be estimated in a reference panel of 250 maize hybrids in a phenotyping platform. A marker-based predictive formula of these parameters will be performed over plants of the reference panel and tested in plants that do not belong to this panel. (ii) Then, yield will be predicted via a crop model for the whole reference panel, in the 30 environments in which experiments have been carried out. (iii) Finally the model will be used in other environments and for other genotypes for which we have access to phenotypic data. This approach potentially makes it possible to predict yield in a large range of environmental conditions for any allelic formula in the same genetic group as the reference panel. I propose to use these datasets in a context of genomic prediction to test the ability of the proposed approach to predict yield in the reference panel, and to extend this prediction to new hybrids and future environments.

Biography & research interests

I graduated as Agronomist in December 2008 at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. During my undergraduate research thesis, I focused principally on issues regarding comparative behaviour of ecophysiological traits in wheat and barley. After my graduation I conducted doctoral studies at Departamento de Produccion Vegetal of the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina. As a graduate student I focused on seed filling physiology and genetic controls in different maize genetic backgrounds growing under different environments. I am currently pursuing my research activity at the Ecophysiology Laboratory of Plants under Environmental Stress (LEPSE) at the INRA Montpellier, France, as an AgreenSkills Post-doc. My research project is about the analysis of a maize association panel grown under different water scenarios within a phenotyping platform. This project aims at developing novel methods and strategies.

Selected publications

Alvarez Prado S., Cabrera-Bosquet L., Grau A., CoupelLedru A., Millet E.J., Welcker C., Tardieu F., 2018. Phenomics allows identification of genomic regions affecting maize stomatal conductance with allelic effects dependent on water deficit and evaporative demand. Plant, Cell and Environment 41: 314-326.

Alvarez Prado S., Gallardo J.M., Kruk B.C., Miralles D.J., 2017. Strategies for yield determination of bread wheat and two-row barley growing under different environments: A comparative study. Field Crops Research 203: 94-105.

Alvarez Prado S., Lopez C.G., Senior M.L., Borras L., 2014. The genetic architecture of maize (Zea mays L.) kernel weight determination. G3: Genes, Genetics and Genomes 4:1611-1621.

Alvarez Prado S., Sadras V.O., Borras L., 2014. Independent genetic control of maize (Zea Mays L.) kernel weight determination and its phenotypic plasticity. Journal of Experimental Botany 65:4479-4487.

Alvarez Prado S., Lopez C.G., Gambin B.L., Abertondo V.J., Borras L., 2013. Dissecting the genetic basis of physiological procesess determining maize kernel weight using the IBM (B73xMo17) Syn4 population. Field Crops Research 145: 33-43. 

Awards & patents

AgreenSkills+ fellowship. Modelling genotype x environment interaction using genomic selection. From January 2016 to December 2017. Responsible: F. Tardieu;

Urban Food and Nutrition Security scholarship from the government of Germany with the financial support by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). November 2012;

CONICET type II doctoral scholarship. March 2012 to March 2014. Advisor: L. Borras;

ANPCyT doctoral scholarship. February 2009 to November 2011. Advisor: L. Borras.


Genotype x environment interaction, traits, yield, genomic prediction, modelling