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Short communication: Reliability of single-step genomic BLUP breeding values by multi-trait test-day model analysis

Bauer, J., Přibyl, J., Vostrý, L.
Journal of dairy science 2015 v.98 no.7 pp. 4999-5003
Holstein, breeding value, bulls, covariance, cows, dairy cattle, genomics, genotyping, lactation, milk, milk yield, models, pedigree, prediction
The purpose of our study was to develop an approximation procedure to estimate reliabilities of single-step genomic BLUP breeding values in a test-day model for routine evaluation of milk yield in a dairy cattle population. Input data consisted of 20,220,047 first-, second-, and third-lactation test-day milk yield records of 1,126,102 Czech Holstein cows (each lactation being considered a separate trait), with 1,844,679 animals in the pedigree file and with genomic data from 2,236 bulls. Evaluation was according to a multi-lactation model. The procedure was based on the effective number of records per animal from milk recording as well as from genomic and pedigree relationships. Traits were analyzed individually, and genetic covariances among traits were subsequently taken into account. The use of genomic information increased average reliability in young bulls from 0.276 to 0.505, but increased reliability in proven bulls only from 0.828 to 0.855. The reliabilities of genomic breeding values in multi-trait evaluation for first, second and third lactations, respectively, averaged 0.652, 0.673, and 0.633 for young bulls and 0.907, 0.894, and 0.852 for proven bulls. For an index combining all 3 lactations, the average reliability of a single-step genomic BLUP prediction was 0.712 and 0.925 for younger and proven bulls, respectively. Increased reliability due to genotyping in the population of all genotyped and nongenotyped animals was very small (<0.01) because of the small proportion of genotyped animals in the population.