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J. Dairy Sci. 2009. 92:16-24. doi:10.3168/jds.2008-1514
2009 American Dairy Science Association

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Invited Review: Reliability of genomic predictions for North American Holstein bulls

P. M. VanRaden*,1, C. P. Van Tassell*,{dagger}, G. R. Wiggans*, T. S. Sonstegard{dagger}, R. D. Schnabel{ddagger}, J. F. Taylor{ddagger} and F. S. Schenkelsrc="abs92_16_files/sect.gif"

* Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory, and
{dagger} Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
{ddagger} Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211
src="abs92_16_files/sect.gif" Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada

1 Corresponding author: paul.vanraden{at}ars.usda.gov

Genetic progress will increase when breeders examine genotypes in addition to pedigrees and phenotypes. Genotypes for 38,416 markers and August 2003 genetic evaluations for 3,576 Holstein bulls born before 1999 were used to predict January 2008 daughter deviations for 1,759 bulls born from 1999 through 2002. Genotypes were generated using the Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip and DNA from semen contributed by US and Canadian artificial-insemination organizations to the Cooperative Dairy DNA Repository. Genomic predictions for 5 yield traits, 5 fitness traits, 16 conformation traits, and net merit were computed using a linear model with an assumed normal distribution for marker effects and also using a nonlinear model with a heavier tailed prior distribution to account for major genes. The official parent average from 2003 and a 2003 parent average computed from only the subset of genotyped ancestors were combined with genomic predictions using a selection index. Combined predictions were more accurate than official parent averages for all 27 traits. The coefficients of determination (R2) were 0.05 to 0.38 greater with nonlinear genomic predictions included compared with those from parent average alone. Linear genomic predictions had R2 values similar to those from nonlinear predictions but averaged just 0.01 lower. The greatest benefits of genomic prediction were for fat percentage because of a known gene with a large effect. The R2 values were converted to realized reliabilities by dividing by mean reliability of 2008 daughter deviations and then adding the difference between published and observed reliabilities of 2003 parent averages. When averaged across all traits, combined genomic predictions had realized reliabilities that were 23% greater than reliabilities of parent averages (50 vs. 27%), and gains in information were equivalent to 11 additional daughter records. Reliability increased more by doubling the number of bulls genotyped than the number of markers genotyped. Genomic prediction improves reliability by tracing the inheritance of genes even with small effects.

Key Words: genomic selection genomic prediction reliability evaluation accuracy







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