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Genomic prediction of lactation curves for milk, fat, protein, and somatic cell score in Holstein cattle

Oliveira, H.R., Brito, L.F., Silva, F.F., Lourenco, D.A.L., Jamrozik, J., Schenkel, F.S.
Journal of dairy science 2019 v.102 no.1 pp. 452-463
Holstein, breeding value, cows, genomics, lactation, lactation curve, marker-assisted selection, milk, prediction, regression analysis, somatic cells, young animals
Application of random regression models (RRM) in a 2-step genomic prediction might be a feasible way to select young animals based on the complete pattern of the lactation curve. In this context, the prediction reliability and bias of genomic estimated breeding value (GEBV) for milk, fat, and protein yields and somatic cell score over days in milk (DIM) using a 2-step genomic approach were investigated. In addition, the effect of including cows in the training and validation populations was investigated. Estimated breeding values for each DIM (from 5 to 305 d) from the first 3 lactations of Holstein animals were deregressed and used as pseudophenotypes in the second step. Individual additive genomic random regression coefficients for each trait were predicted using RRM and genomic best linear unbiased prediction and further used to derive GEBV for each DIM. Theoretical reliabilities of GEBV obtained by the RRM were slightly higher than theoretical reliabilities obtained by the accumulated yield up to 305 d (P305). However, validation reliabilities estimated for GEBV using P305 were higher than for GEBV using RRM. For all traits, higher theoretical and validation reliabilities were estimated when incorporating genomic information. Less biased GEBV estimates were found when using RRM compared with P305, and different validation reliability and bias patterns for GEBV over time were observed across traits and lactations. Including cows in the training population increased the theoretical reliabilities and bias of GEBV; nonetheless, the inclusion of cows in the validation population does not seem to affect the regression coefficients and the theoretical reliabilities. In summary, the use of RRM in 2-step genomic prediction produced fairly accurate GEBV over the entire lactation curve for all analyzed traits. Thus, selecting young animals based on the pattern of lactation curves seems to be a feasible alternative in genomic selection of Holstein cattle for milk production traits.