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Tsuruta S.,University of Georgia | Misztal I.,University of Georgia | Lawlor T.J.,Holstein Association United States
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

Currently, the US Department of Agriculture Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory utilizes a multi-step procedure in genomic evaluations for US Holstein bulls and cows, with adjustments for cows. We used a single-step procedure to investigate whether adding cows' genotypes could increase reliability in genomic breeding values for bulls while minimizing bias. The first data set to 2007 was used to calculate genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) for animals, including young genotyped bulls with no daughters and young cows (heifers) with no records in 2007. The second data set to 2011 was used to calculate GEBV for the same animals, including those young bulls with daughters and young cows with records in 2011. Genotypes (42,503 single nucleotide polymorphism markers) for 34,506 bulls and 5,235 cows from 356,413 bulls and 9,245,619 cows in pedigree were used to calculate single-step GEBV (ssGEBV) and multi-step GEBV (msGEBV). Regression coefficients of 2007 GEBV on 2011 progeny deviations and coefficients of determination were used as indicators of bias and reliability in 2007 GEBV for bulls with no daughters and for cows with no records in 2007, using bull genotypes only and using bull and cow genotypes. Parent averages were also calculated from estimated breeding values of parents to compare with GEBV. For genotyped bulls, inflation was larger for ssGEBV than for msGEBV, whereas reliability was higher for ssGEBV. Using all genotyped bulls and cows, reliabilities were increased by 2 to 3%. Use of genotypes of high-profile cows improves reliability in ssGEBV and msGEBV for bulls. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Source


Tsuruta S.,University of Georgia | Misztal I.,University of Georgia | Aguilar I.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Agropecuaria | Lawlor T.J.,Holstein Association United States
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

Currently, the USDA uses a single-trait (ST) model with several intermediate steps to obtain genomic evaluations for US Holsteins. In this study, genomic evaluations for 18 linear type traits were obtained with a multiple-trait (MT) model using a unified single-step procedure. The phenotypic type data on up to 18 traits were available for 4,813,726 Holsteins, and single nucleotide polymorphism markers from the Illumina BovineSNP50 genotyping Beadchip (Illumina Inc., San Diego, CA) were available on 17,293 bulls. Genomic predictions were computed with several genomic relationship matrices (G) that assumed different allele frequencies: equal, base, current, and current scaled. Computations were carried out with ST and MT models. Procedures were compared by coefficients of determination (R 2) and regression of 2004 prediction of bulls with no daughters in 2004 on daughter deviations of those bulls in 2009. Predictions for 2004 also included parent averages without the use of genomic information. The R 2 for parent averages ranged from 10 to 34% for ST models and from 12 to 35% for MT models. The average R 2 for all G were 34 and 37% for ST and MT models, respectively. All of the regression coefficients were <1.0, indicating that estimated breeding values in 2009 of 1,307 genotyped young bulls' parents tended to be biased. The average regression coefficients ranged from 0.74 to 0.79 and from 0.75 to 0.80 for ST and MT models, respectively. When the weight for the inverse of the numerator relationship matrix (A -1) for genotyped animals was reduced from 1 to 0.7, R 2 remained almost identical while the regression coefficients increased by 0.11-0.26 and 0.12-0.23 for ST and MT models, respectively. The ST models required about 5s per iteration, whereas MT models required 3 (6) min per iteration for the regular (genomic) model. The MT single-step approach is feasible for 18 linear type traits in US Holstein cattle. Accuracy for genomic evaluation increases when switching ST models to MT models. Inflation of genomic evaluations for young bulls could be reduced by choosing a small weight for the A -1 for genotyped bulls. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association. Source


Weigel K.A.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Hoffman P.C.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Herring W.,Pfizer | Lawlor T.J.,Holstein Association United States
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2012

The objective of this study was to quantify the gains in genetic potential of replacement females that could be achieved by using genomic testing to facilitate selection and culling decisions on commercial dairy farms. Data were simulated for 100 commercial dairy herds, each with 1,850 cows, heifers, and calves. Parameters of the simulation were based on the US Holstein population, and assumed reliabilities of traditional and genomic predictions matched reliabilities of animals that have been genotyped to date. Selection of the top 10, 20, 30, ..., 90% of animals within each age group was based on parent averages and predicted transmitting abilities with or without genomic testing of all animals or subsets of animals that had been presorted by traditional predictions. Average gains in lifetime net merit breeding value of selected females due to genomic testing, minus prorated costs of genotyping the animals and their unselected contemporaries, ranged from $28 (top 90% selected) to $259 (top 20% selected) for heifer calves with no pedigrees, $14 (top 90% selected) to $121 (top 10% selected) for heifer calves with known sires, and $7 (top 90% selected) to $87 (top 20% selected) for heifer calves with full pedigrees. In most cases, gains in genetic merit of selected heifer calves far exceeded prorated genotyping costs, and gains were greater for animals with missing or incomplete pedigree information. Gains in genetic merit due to genomic testing were smaller for lactating cows that had phenotypic records, and in many cases, these gains barely exceeded or failed to exceed genotyping costs. Strategies based on selective genotyping of the top, middle, or bottom 50% of animals after presorting by traditional parent averages or predicted transmitting abilities were cost effective, particularly when pedigrees or phenotypes were available and a relatively small proportion of animals were to be selected or culled. Based on these results, it appears that routine genotyping of heifer calves or yearling heifers can be a cost-effective strategy for enhancing the genetic level of replacement females on commercial dairy farms. Increasing the accuracy of predicted breeding values for young females with genomic testing might lead to synergies with other management tools and strategies, such as propagating genetically superior females using advanced reproductive technologies or selling excess females that were generated by the use of sex-enhanced semen. © 2012 American Dairy Science Association. Source


Battagin M.,University of Padua | Forabosco F.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Jakobsen J.H.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Penasa M.,University of Padua | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2012

The study documents the procedures used to estimate genetic correlations among countries for overall conformation (OCS), overall udder (OUS), overall feet and legs (OFL), and body condition score (BCS) of Holstein sires. Major differences in traits definition are discussed, in addition to the use of international breeding values (IBV) among countries involved in international genetic evaluations, and similarities among countries through hierarchical clustering. Data were available for populations from 20 countries for OCS and OUS, 18 populations for OFL, and 11 populations for BCS. The IBV for overall traits and BCS were calculated using a multi-trait across-country evaluation model. Distance measures, obtained from genetic correlations, were used as input values in the cluster analysis. Results from surveys sent to countries participating in international genetic evaluation for conformation traits showed that different ways of defining traits are used: the overall traits were either computed from linear or composite traits or defined as general characteristics. For BCS, populations were divided into 2 groups: one scored and evaluated BCS, and one used a best predictor. In general, populations were well connected except for Estonia and French Red Holstein. The average number of common bulls for the overall traits ranged from 19 (OCS and OUS of French Red Holstein) to 514 (OFL of United States), and for BCS from 17 (French Red Holstein) to 413 (the Netherlands). The average genetic correlation (range) across countries was 0.75 (0.35 to 0.95), 0.80 (0.41 to 0.95), and 0.68 (0.12 to 0.89) for OCS, OUS, and OFL, respectively. Genetic correlations among countries that used angularity as best predictor for BCS and countries that scored BCS were negative. The cluster analysis provided a clear picture of the countries distances; differences were due to trait definition, trait composition, and weights in overall traits, genetic ties, and genotype by environment interactions. Harmonization of trait definition and increasing genetic ties could improve genetic correlations across countries and reduce the distances. In each national selection index, all countries, except Estonia and New Zealand, included at least one overall trait, whereas none included BCS. Out of 18 countries, 9 have started genomic evaluation of conformation traits. The first were Canada, France, New Zealand, and United States in 2009, followed by Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands in 2010, and Australia and Denmark-Finland-Sweden (joint evaluation) in 2011. Six countries are planning to start soon. © 2012 American Dairy Science Association. Source


Aguilar I.,University of Georgia | Aguilar I.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Agropecuaria | Misztal I.,University of Georgia | Johnson D.L.,Livestock Improvement Corporation | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

The first national single-step, full-information (phenotype, pedigree, and marker genotype) genetic evaluation was developed for final score of US Holsteins. Data included final scores recorded from 1955 to 2009 for 6,232,548 Holsteins cows. BovineSNP50 (Illumina, San Diego, CA) genotypes from the Cooperative Dairy DNA Repository (Beltsville, MD) were available for 6,508 bulls. Three analyses used a repeatability animal model as currently used for the national US evaluation. The first 2 analyses used final scores recorded up to 2004. The first analysis used only a pedigree-based relationship matrix. The second analysis used a relationship matrix based on both pedigree and genomic information (single-step approach). The third analysis used the complete data set and only the pedigree-based relationship matrix. The fourth analysis used predictions from the first analysis (final scores up to 2004 and only a pedigree-based relationship matrix) and prediction using a genomic based matrix to obtain genetic evaluation (multiple-step approach). Different allele frequencies were tested in construction of the genomic relationship matrix. Coefficients of determination between predictions of young bulls from parent average, single-step, and multiple-step approaches and their 2009 daughter deviations were 0.24, 0.37 to 0.41, and 0.40, respectively. The highest coefficient of determination for a single-step approach was observed when using a genomic relationship matrix with assumed allele frequencies of 0.5. Coefficients for regression of 2009 daughter deviations on parent-average, single-step, and multiple-step predictions were 0.76, 0.68 to 0.79, and 0.86, respectively, which indicated some inflation of predictions. The single-step regression coefficient could be increased up to 0.92 by scaling differences between the genomic and pedigree-based relationship matrices with little loss in accuracy of prediction. One complete evaluation took about 2. h of computing time and 2.7 gigabytes of memory. Computing times for single-step analyses were slightly longer (2%) than for pedigree-based analysis. A national single-step genetic evaluation with the pedigree relationship matrix augmented with genomic information provided genomic predictions with accuracy and bias comparable to multiple-step procedures and could account for any population or data structure. Advantages of single-step evaluations should increase in the future when animals are pre-selected on genotypes. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association. Source

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