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A robust Bayesian genome-based median regression model

Montesinos-López, Abelardo, Montesinos-López, Osval A., Villa-Diharce, Enrique R., Gianola, Daniel, Crossa, José
Theoretical and applied genetics 2019 v.132 no.5 pp. 1587-1606
Bayesian theory, Markov chain, data collection, genome, genomics, genotype, models, prediction, regression analysis
KEY MESSAGE: Current genome-enabled prediction models assumed errors normally distributed, which are sensitive to outliers. We propose a model with errors assumed to follow a Laplace distribution to deal better with outliers. Current genome-enabled prediction models use regressions that fit the expected value (mean) of a response variable with errors assumed normally distributed, which are often sensitive to outliers, either genetic or environmental. For this reason, we propose a robust Bayesian genome median regression (BGMR) model that fits regressions to the medians of a distribution, with errors assumed to follow a Laplace distribution to deal better with outliers. The BGMR model was evaluated under a Bayesian framework with Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling using a location–scale mixture representation of the Laplace distribution. The BGMR was implemented with two simulated and two real genomic data sets, and we compared its prediction performance with that of a conventional genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) model and the Laplace maximum a posteriori (LMAP) method. The prediction accuracies of BGMR were higher than those of the GBLUP and LMAP methods when there were outliers. The BGMR model could be useful to breeders who need to predict and select genotypes based on data with unknown outliers.