Published 2011

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Publication details

Journal : Journal of Animal Science , vol. 89 , p. 630–638 , 2011

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 0021-8812
Electronic : 1525-3163

Publication type : Academic article

Contributors : Nielsen, Hanne Marie; Sonesson, Anna Kristina; Meuwissen, Theodorus

Issue : 3

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Kjetil Aune
Chief Librarian


The aim of this study was to compare genetic gain for a traditional aquaculture sib breeding scheme with breeding values based on phenotypic data (TBLUP) with a breeding scheme with genome-wide (GW) breeding values. Both breeding schemes were closed nuclei with discrete generations modeled by stochastic simulation. Optimum contribution selection was applied to restrict pedigree-based inbreeding to either 0.5 or 1% per generation. There were 1,000 selection candidates and a sib test group of either 4,000 or 8,000 fish. The number of selected dams and sires to create full sib families in each generation was determined from the optimum contribution selection method. True breeding values for a trait were simulated by summing the number of each QTL allele and the true effect of each of the 1,000 simulated QTL. Breeding values in TBLUP were predicted from phenotypic and pedigree information, whereas genomic breeding values were computed from genetic markers whose effects were estimated using a genomic BLUP model. In generation 5, genetic gain was 70 and 74% greater for the GW scheme than for the TBLUP scheme for inbreeding rates of 0.5 and 1%. The reduction in genetic variance was, however, greater for the GW scheme than for the TBLUP scheme due to fixation of some QTL. As expected, accuracy of selection increased with increasing heritability (e.g., from 0.77 with a heritability of 0.2 to 0.87 with a heritability of 0.6 for GW, and from 0.53 and 0.58 for TBLUP in generation 5 with sib information only). When the trait was measured on the selection candidate compared with only on sibs and the heritability was 0.4, accuracy increased from 0.55 to 0.69 for TBLUP and from 0.83 to 0.86 for GW. The number of selected sires to get the desired rate of inbreeding was in general less in GW than in TBLUP and was 33 for GW and 83 for TBLUP (rate of inbreeding 1% and heritability 0.4). With truncation selection, genetic gain for the scheme with GW breeding values was nearly twice as large as a scheme with traditional BLUP breeding values. The results indicate that the benefits of applying GW breeding values compared with TBLUP are reduced when contributions are optimized. In conclusion, genetic gain in aquaculture breeding schemes with optimized contributions can increase by as much as 81% by applying genome-wide breeding values compared with traditional BLUP breeding values.