International bull evaluations by genomic BLUP with a prediction population.


Department of Animal Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs 06269; Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens 30602. Electronic address: [Email]


The purpose of this study was to determine whether multi-country genomic evaluation can be accomplished by multiple-trait genomic best linear unbiased predictor (GBLUP) without sharing genotypes of important animals. Phenotypes and genotypes with 40k SNP were simulated for 25,000 animals, each with 4 traits assuming the same genetic variance and 0.8 genetic correlations. The population was split into 4 subpopulations corresponding to 4 countries, one for each trait. Additionally, a prediction population was created from genotyped animals that were not present in the individual countries but were related to each country's population. Genomic estimated breeding values were computed for each country and subsequently converted to SNP effects. Phenotypes were reconstructed for the prediction population based on the SNP effects of a country and the prediction animals' genotypes. The prediction population was used as the basis for the international evaluation, enabling bull comparisons without sharing genotypes and only sharing SNP effects. The computations were such that SNP effects computed within-country or in the prediction population were the same. Genomic estimated breeding values were calculated by single-trait GBLUP for within-country and multiple-trait GBLUP for multi-country predictions. The true accuracy for the prediction population with reconstructed phenotypes was at most 0.02 less than the accuracy with the original data. The differences increased when countries were assumed unequally sized. However, accuracies by multiple-trait GBLUP with the prediction population were always greater than accuracies from any single within-country prediction. Multi-country genomic evaluations by multiple-trait GBLUP are possible without using original genotypes at a cost of lower accuracy compared with explicitly combining countries' data.


multiple-country evaluation,single nucleotide polymorphism effect,single nucleotide polymorphism multiple across-country evaluation,single-step approach,