Application of single-step genomic evaluation using multiple-trait random regression test-day models in dairy cattle.


Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada; Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-000, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Test-day traits are important for genetic evaluation in dairy cattle and are better modeled by multiple-trait random regression models (RRM). The reliability and bias of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) predicted using multiple-trait RRM via single-step genomic best linear unbiased prediction (ssGBLUP) were investigated in the 3 major dairy cattle breeds in Canada (i.e., Ayrshire, Holstein, and Jersey). Individual additive genomic random regression coefficients for the test-day traits were predicted using 2 multiple-trait RRM: (1) one for milk, fat, and protein yields in the first, second, and third lactations, and (2) one for somatic cell score in the first, second, and third lactations. The predicted coefficients were used to derive GEBV for each lactation day and, subsequently, the daily GEBV were compared with traditional daily parent averages obtained by BLUP. To ensure compatibility between pedigree and genomic information for genotyped animals, different scaling factors for combining the inverse of genomic (G-1) and pedigree (A-122) relationship matrices were tested. In addition, the inclusion of only genotypes from animals with accurate breeding values (defined in preliminary analysis) was compared with the inclusion of all available genotypes in the analyzes. The ssGBLUP model led to considerably larger validation reliabilities than the BLUP model without genomic information. In general, scaling factors used to combine the G-1 and A-122 matrices had small influence on the validation reliabilities. However, a greater effect was observed in the inflation of GEBV. Less inflated GEBV were obtained by the ssGBLUP compared with the parent average from traditional BLUP when using optimal scaling factors to combine the G-1 and A-122 matrices. Similar results were observed when including either all available genotypes or only genotypes from animals with accurate breeding values. These findings indicate that ssGBLUP using multiple-trait RRM increases reliability and reduces bias of breeding values of young animals when compared with parent average from traditional BLUP in the Canadian Ayrshire, Holstein, and Jersey breeds.


Ayrshire,Holstein,Jersey,longitudinal trait,