Interpretive Summary: Correcting for base-population differences and unknown parent groups in single-step genomic predictions of Norwegian Red cattle
By: Tesfaye K Belay, Leiv S Eikje, Arne B Gjuvsland, Øyvind Nordbø, Thierry Tribout, Theo Meuwissen
Our study dealt with strategies on how to reduce biases (inflation and level-bias) and improve a parameter related to accuracy (stability) of genomic predictions of breeding values that combine genotyped and non-genotyped animals, which are denoted as single-step genomic predictions. We tried to remedy incompatibilities between the pedigree- and the genomics-based relationships matrices by fitting a covariate (J) that corrects for base-population differences that may occur between both relationship matrices. We also evaluated alternative ways to combine the J covariate and genetic group effects to account for missing parental information, which often occurs in practical breeding schemes. We found that fitting J either as fixed or random reduced level-bias and inflation and increased stability of genomic predictions as compared to the basic model where neither J nor genetic groups were fitted. Level-biases and inflation of breeding value estimates were reduced, and stability of genomic predictions improved for models which combined group and J effects. A model which fits group regression coefficients minus the part that could be explained from pedigree was recommended because it showed least bias and highest stability across the scenarios and has theoretical justification.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.