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de los Campos G.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Hickey J.M.,University of New England of Australia | Pong-Wong R.,Roslin Institute | Daetwyler H.D.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Calus M.P.L.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center
Genetics | Year: 2013

Genomic-enabled prediction is becoming increasingly important in animal and plant breeding and is also receiving attention in human genetics. Deriving accurate predictions of complex traits requires implementing whole-genome regression (WGR) models where phenotypes are regressed on thousands of markers concurrently. Methods exist that allow implementing these large-p with small-n regressions, and genome-enabled selection (GS) is being implemented in several plant and animal breeding programs. The list of available methods is long, and the relationships between them have not been fully addressed. In this article we provide an overview of available methods for implementing parametric WGR models, discuss selected topics that emerge in applications, and present a general discussion of lessons learned from simulation and empirical data analysis in the last decade. © 2013 by the Genetics Society of America.

Hill W.G.,University of Edinburgh | Mulder H.A.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center
Genetics Research | Year: 2010

Environmental variation (VE) in a quantitative trait-variation in phenotype that cannot be explained by genetic variation or identifiable genetic differences-can be regarded as being under some degree of genetic control. Such variation may be either between repeated expressions of the same trait within individuals (e.g. for bilateral traits), in the phenotype of different individuals, where variation within families may differ, or in both components. We consider alternative models for defining the distribution of phenotypes to include a component due to heterogeneity of VE. We review evidence for the presence of genetic variation in VE and estimates of its magnitude. Typically the heritability of VE is under 10%, but its genetic coefficient of variation is typically 20% or more. We consider experimental designs appropriate for estimating genetic variance in VE and review alternative methods of estimation. We consider the effects of stabilizing and directional selection on VE and review both the forces that might be maintaining levels of VE and heritability found in populations. We also evaluate the opportunities for reducing VE in breeding programmes. Although empirical and theoretical studies have increased our understanding of genetic control of environmental variance, many issues remain unresolved. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.

Calus M.P.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center
Genetics Selection Evolution | Year: 2014

Background: Since both the number of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) used in genomic prediction and the number of individuals used in training datasets are rapidly increasing, there is an increasing need to improve the efficiency of genomic prediction models in terms of computing time and memory (RAM) required. Methods. In this paper, two alternative algorithms for genomic prediction are presented that replace the originally suggested residual updating algorithm, without affecting the estimates. The first alternative algorithm continues to use residual updating, but takes advantage of the characteristic that the predictor variables in the model (i.e. the SNP genotypes) take only three different values, and is therefore termed "improved residual updating". The second alternative algorithm, here termed "right-hand-side updating" (RHS-updating), extends the idea of improved residual updating across multiple SNPs. The alternative algorithms can be implemented for a range of different genomic predictions models, including random regression BLUP (best linear unbiased prediction) and most Bayesian genomic prediction models. To test the required computing time and RAM, both alternative algorithms were implemented in a Bayesian stochastic search variable selection model. Results: Compared to the original algorithm, the improved residual updating algorithm reduced CPU time by 35.3 to 43.3%, without changing memory requirements. The RHS-updating algorithm reduced CPU time by 74.5 to 93.0% and memory requirements by 13.1 to 66.4% compared to the original algorithm. Conclusions: The presented RHS-updating algorithm provides an interesting alternative to reduce both computing time and memory requirements for a range of genomic prediction models. © 2014Calus; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Wientjes Y.C.J.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center | Wientjes Y.C.J.,Wageningen University | Veerkamp R.F.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center | Calus M.P.L.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center
Genetics | Year: 2013

Although the concept of genomic selection relies on linkage disequilibrium (LD) between quantitative trait loci and markers, reliability of genomic predictions is strongly influenced by family relationships. In this study, we investigated the effects of LD and family relationships on reliability of genomic predictions and the potential of deterministic formulas to predict reliability using population parameters in populations with complex family structures. Five groups of selection candidates were simulated by taking different information sources from the reference population into account: (1) allele frequencies, (2) LD pattern, (3) haplotypes, (4) haploid chromosomes, and (5) individuals from the reference population, thereby having real family relationships with reference individuals. Reliabilities were predicted using genomic relationships among 529 reference individuals and their relationships with selection candidates and with a deterministic formula where the number of effective chromosome segments (Me) was estimated based on genomic and additive relationship matrices for each scenario. At a heritability of 0.6, reliabilities based on genomic relationships were 0.002 ±0.0001 (allele frequencies), 0.022 ± 0.001 (LD pattern), 0.018 ±0.001 (haplotypes), 0.100 ± 0.008 (haploid chromosomes), and 0.318 ± 0.077 (family relationships). At a heritability of 0.1, relative differences among groups were similar. For all scenarios, reliabilities were similar to predictions with a deterministic formula using estimated Me. So, reliabilities can be predicted accurately using empirically estimated Me and level of relationship with reference individuals has a much higher effect on the reliability than linkage disequilibrium per se. Furthermore, accumulated length of shared haplotypes is more important in determining the reliability of genomic prediction than the individual shared haplotype length. © 2013 by the Genetics Society of America.

Calus M.P.L.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center | Veerkamp R.F.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center
Genetics Selection Evolution | Year: 2011

Background: Genomic selection has become a very important tool in animal genetics and is rapidly emerging in plant genetics. It holds the promise to be particularly beneficial to select for traits that are difficult or expensive to measure, such as traits that are measured in one environment and selected for in another environment. The objective of this paper was to develop three models that would permit multi-trait genomic selection by combining scarcely recorded traits with genetically correlated indicator traits, and to compare their performance to single-trait models, using simulated datasets. Methods. Three (SNP) Single Nucleotide Polymorphism based models were used. Model G and BC0 assumed that contributed (co)variances of all SNP are equal. Model BSSVS sampled SNP effects from a distribution with large (or small) effects to model SNP that are (or not) associated with a quantitative trait locus. For reasons of comparison, model A including pedigree but not SNP information was fitted as well. Results: In terms of accuracies for animals without phenotypes, the models generally ranked as follows: BSSVS > BC0 > G > > A. Using multi-trait SNP-based models, the accuracy for juvenile animals without any phenotypes increased up to 0.10. For animals with phenotypes on an indicator trait only, accuracy increased up to 0.03 and 0.14, for genetic correlations with the evaluated trait of 0.25 and 0.75, respectively. Conclusions: When the indicator trait had a genetic correlation lower than 0.5 with the trait of interest in our simulated data, the accuracy was higher if genotypes rather than phenotypes were obtained for the indicator trait. However, when genetic correlations were higher than 0.5, using an indicator trait led to higher accuracies for selection candidates. For different combinations of traits, the level of genetic correlation below which genotyping selection candidates is more effective than obtaining phenotypes for an indicator trait, needs to be derived considering at least the heritabilities and the numbers of animals recorded for the traits involved. © 2011 Calus and Veerkamp; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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