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Riggio V.,Roslin Institute | Abdel-Aziz M.,King Faisal University | Matika O.,Roslin Institute | Moreno C.R.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 2 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2014

Genomic prediction utilizes single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip data to predict animal genetic merit. It has the advantage of potentially capturing the effects of the majority of loci that contribute to genetic variation in a trait, even when the effects of the individual loci are very small. To implement genomic prediction, marker effects are estimated with a training set, including individuals with marker genotypes and trait phenotypes; subsequently, genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) for any genotyped individual in the population can be calculated using the estimated marker effects. In this study, we aimed to: (i) evaluate the potential of genomic prediction to predict GEBV for nematode resistance traits and BW in sheep, within and across populations; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of these predictions through within-population cross-validation; and (iii) explore the impact of population structure on the accuracy of prediction. Four data sets comprising 752 lambs from a Scottish Blackface population, 2371 from a Sarda×Lacaune backcross population, 1000 from a Martinik Black-Belly×Romane backcross population and 64 from a British Texel population were used in this study. Traits available for the analysis were faecal egg count for Nematodirus and Strongyles and BW at different ages or as average effect, depending on the population. Moreover, immunoglobulin A was also available for the Scottish Blackface population. Results show that GEBV had moderate to good within-population predictive accuracy, whereas across-population predictions had accuracies close to zero. This can be explained by our finding that in most cases the accuracy estimates were mostly because of additive genetic relatedness between animals, rather than linkage disequilibrium between SNP and quantitative trait loci. Therefore, our results suggest that genomic prediction for nematode resistance and BW may be of value in closely related animals, but that with the current SNP chip genomic predictions are unlikely to work across breeds. © The Animal Consortium 2014. Source

Riggio V.,Roslin Institute | Pong-Wong R.,Roslin Institute | Salle G.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Usai M.G.,Settore Genetica e Biotecnologie | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics | Year: 2014

Gastrointestinal nematode infections are one of the main health/economic issues in sheep industries, worldwide. Indicator traits for resistance such as faecal egg count (FEC) are commonly used in genomic studies; however, published results are inconsistent among breeds. Meta (or joint)-analysis is a tool for aggregating information from multiple independent studies. The aim of this study was to identify loci underlying variation in FEC, as an indicator of nematode resistance, in a joint analysis using data from three populations (Scottish Blackface, Sarda × Lacaune and Martinik Black-Belly × Romane), genotyped with the ovine 50k SNP chip. The trait analysed was the average animal effect for Strongyles and Nematodirus FEC data. Analyses were performed with regional heritability mapping (RHM), fitting polygenic effects with either the whole genomic relationship matrix or matrices excluding the chromosome being interrogated. Across-population genomic covariances were set to zero. After quality control, 4123 animals and 38 991 SNPs were available for the analysis. RHM identified genome-wide significant regions on OAR4, 12, 14, 19 and 20, with the latter being the most significant. The OAR20 region is close to the major histocompatibility complex, which has often been proposed as a functional candidate for nematode resistance. This region was significant only in the Sarda × Lacaune population. Several other regions, on OAR1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 19, 20 and 24, were significant at the suggestive level. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics Published by Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

Usai M.G.,Settore Genetica e Biotecnologie | Carta A.,Settore Genetica e Biotecnologie | Casu S.,Settore Genetica e Biotecnologie
BMC Proceedings | Year: 2012

Background: The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) can be used to predict SNP effects. This operator has the desirable feature of including in the model only a subset of explanatory SNPs, which can be useful both in QTL detection and GWS studies. LASSO solutions can be obtained by the least angle regression (LARS) algorithm. The big issue with this procedure is to define the best constraint (t), i.e. the upper bound of the sum of absolute value of the SNP effects which roughly corresponds to the number of SNPs to be selected. Usai et al. (2009) dealt with this problem by a cross-validation approach and defined t as the average number of selected SNPs overall replications. Nevertheless, in small size populations, such estimator could give underestimated values of t. Here we propose two alternative ways to define t and compared them with the "classical" one. Methods. The first (strategy 1), was based on 1,000 cross-validations carried out by randomly splitting the reference population (2,000 individuals with performance) into two halves. The value of t was the number of SNPs which occurred in more than 5% of replications. The second (strategy 2), which did not use cross-validations, was based on the minimization of the Cp-type selection criterion which depends on the number of selected SNPs and the expected residual variance. Results: The size of the subset of selected SNPs was 46, 189 and 64 for the classical approach, strategy 1 and 2 respectively. Classical and strategy 2 gave similar results and indicated quite clearly the regions were QTL with additive effects were located. Strategy 1 confirmed such regions and added further positions which gave a less clear scenario. Correlation between GEBVs estimated with the three strategies and TBVs in progenies without phenotypes were 0.9237, 0.9000 and 0.9240 for classical, strategy 1 and 2 respectively. Conclusions: This suggests that the Cp-type selection criterion is a valid alternative to the cross-validations to define the best constraint for selecting subsets of predicting SNPs by LASSO-LARS procedure. © 2012 Usai et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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