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Okut H.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Okut H.,Yuzuncu Yil University | Wu X.-L.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Rosa G.J.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | And 5 more authors.
Genetics Selection Evolution | Year: 2013

Background: Artificial neural networks (ANN) mimic the function of the human brain and are capable of performing massively parallel computations for data processing and knowledge representation. ANN can capture nonlinear relationships between predictors and responses and can adaptively learn complex functional forms, in particular, for situations where conventional regression models are ineffective. In a previous study, ANN with Bayesian regularization outperformed a benchmark linear model when predicting milk yield in dairy cattle or grain yield of wheat. Although breeding values rely on the assumption of additive inheritance, the predictive capabilities of ANN are of interest from the perspective of their potential to increase the accuracy of prediction of molecular breeding values used for genomic selection. This motivated the present study, in which the aim was to investigate the accuracy of ANN when predicting the expected progeny difference (EPD) of marbling score in Angus cattle. Various ANN architectures were explored, which involved two training algorithms, two types of activation functions, and from 1 to 4 neurons in hidden layers. For comparison, BayesCπ models were used to select a subset of optimal markers (referred to as feature selection), under the assumption of additive inheritance, and then the marker effects were estimated using BayesCπ with π set equal to zero. This procedure is referred to as BayesCpC and was implemented on a high-throughput computing cluster. Results: The ANN with Bayesian regularization method performed equally well for prediction of EPD as BayesCpC, based on prediction accuracy and sum of squared errors. With the 3K-SNP panel, for example, prediction accuracy was 0.776 using BayesCpC, and ranged from 0.776 to 0.807 using BRANN. With the selected 700-SNP panel, prediction accuracy was 0.863 for BayesCpC and ranged from 0.842 to 0.858 for BRANN. However, prediction accuracy for the ANN with scaled conjugate gradient back-propagation was lower, ranging from 0.653 to 0.689 with the 3K-SNP panel, and from 0.743 to 0.793 with the selected 700-SNP panel. Conclusions: ANN with Bayesian regularization performed as well as linear Bayesian regression models in predicting additive genetic values, supporting the idea that ANN are useful as universal approximators of functions of interest in breeding contexts. © 2013 Okut et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Nicolazzi E.L.,Bioinformatics and Biostatistical Genomics group | Caprera A.,Bioinformatics and Biostatistical Genomics group | Nazzicari N.,Bioinformatics and Biostatistical Genomics group | Cozzi P.,Bioinformatics and Biostatistical Genomics group | And 13 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2015

Background: In recent years, the use of genomic information in livestock species for genetic improvement, association studies and many other fields has become routine. In order to accommodate different market requirements in terms of genotyping cost, manufacturers of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays, private companies and international consortia have developed a large number of arrays with different content and different SNP density. The number of currently available SNP arrays differs among species: ranging from one for goats to more than ten for cattle, and the number of arrays available is increasing rapidly. However, there is limited or no effort to standardize and integrate array- specific (e.g. SNP IDs, allele coding) and species-specific (i.e. past and current assemblies) SNP information. Results: Here we present SNPchiMp v.3, a solution to these issues for the six major livestock species (cow, pig, horse, sheep, goat and chicken). Original data was collected directly from SNP array producers and specific international genome consortia, and stored in a MySQL database. The database was then linked to an open-access web tool and to public databases. SNPchiMp v.3 ensures fast access to the database (retrieving within/across SNP array data) and the possibility of annotating SNP array data in a user-friendly fashion. Conclusions: This platform allows easy integration and standardization, and it is aimed at both industry and research. It also enables users to easily link the information available from the array producer with data in public databases, without the need of additional bioinformatics tools or pipelines. In recognition of the open-access use of Ensembl resources, SNPchiMp v.3 was officially credited as an Ensembl E!mpowered tool. Availability at http://bioinformatics.tecnoparco.org/SNPchimp. © Nicolazzi et al.

Heaton M.P.,Us Meat Animal Research Center Usmarc | Leymaster K.A.,Us Meat Animal Research Center Usmarc | Kalbfleisch T.S.,University of Louisville | Kijas J.W.,CSIRO | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

DNA-based parentage determination accelerates genetic improvement in sheep by increasing pedigree accuracy. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers can be used for determining parentage and to provide unique molecular identifiers for tracing sheep products to their source. However, the utility of a particular ''parentage SNP'' varies by breed depending on its minor allele frequency (MAF) and its sequence context. Our aims were to identify parentage SNPs with exceptional qualities for use in globally diverse breeds and to develop a subset for use in North American sheep. Starting with genotypes from 2,915 sheep and 74 breed groups provided by the International Sheep Genomics Consortium (ISGC), we analyzed 47,693 autosomal SNPs by multiple criteria and selected 163 with desirable properties for parentage testing. On average, each of the 163 SNPs was highly informative (MAF$0.3) in 4865 breed groups. Nearby polymorphisms that could otherwise confound genetic testing were identified by whole genome and Sanger sequencing of 166 sheep from 54 breed groups. A genetic test with 109 of the 163 parentage SNPs was developed for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization- time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The scoring rates and accuracies for these 109 SNPs were greater than 99% in a panel of North American sheep. In a blinded set of 96 families (sire, dam, and non-identical twin lambs), each parent of every lamb was identified without using the other parent's genotype. In 74 ISGC breed groups, the median estimates for probability of a coincidental match between two animals (PI), and the fraction of potential adults excluded from parentage (PE) were 1.1610(239) and 0.999987, respectively, for the 109 SNPs combined. The availability of a well-characterized set of 163 parentage SNPs facilitates the development of high-throughput genetic technologies for implementing accurate and economical parentage testing and traceability in many of the world's sheep breeds.

Heaton M.P.,Us Meat Animal Research Center Usmarc | Kalbfleisch T.S.,University of Louisville | Kalbfleisch T.S.,Intrepid Bioinformatics | Petrik D.T.,A Neogen Company | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

In sheep, small ruminant lentiviruses cause an incurable, progressive, lymphoproliferative disease that affects millions of animals worldwide. Known as ovine progressive pneumonia virus (OPPV) in the U.S., and Visna/Maedi virus (VMV) elsewhere, these viruses reduce an animal's health, productivity, and lifespan. Genetic variation in the ovine transmembrane protein 154 gene (TMEM154) has been previously associated with OPPV infection in U.S. sheep. Sheep with the ancestral TMEM154 haplotype encoding glutamate (E) at position 35, and either form of an N70I variant, were highly-susceptible compared to sheep homozygous for the K35 missense mutation. Our current overall aim was to characterize TMEM154 in sheep from around the world to develop an efficient genetic test for reduced susceptibility. The average frequency of TMEM154 E35 among 74 breeds was 0.51 and indicated that highly-susceptible alleles were present in most breeds around the world. Analysis of whole genome sequences from an international panel of 75 sheep revealed more than 1,300 previously unreported polymorphisms in a 62 kb region containing TMEM154 and confirmed that the most susceptible haplotypes were distributed worldwide. Novel missense mutations were discovered in the signal peptide (A13V) and the extracellular domains (E31Q, I74F, and I102T) of TMEM154. A matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) assay was developed to detect these and six previously reported missense and two deletion mutations in TMEM154. In blinded trials, the call rate for the eight most common coding polymorphisms was 99.4% for 499 sheep tested and 96.0% of the animals were assigned paired TMEM154 haplotypes (i.e., diplotypes). The widespread distribution of highly-susceptible TMEM154 alleles suggests that genetic testing and selection may improve the health and productivity of infected flocks.

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