Alternative methods improve the accuracy of genomic prediction using information from a causal point mutation in a dairy sheep model.

TitleAlternative methods improve the accuracy of genomic prediction using information from a causal point mutation in a dairy sheep model.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsOget, C, Teissier, M, Astruc, J-M, Tosser-Klopp, G, Rupp, R
JournalBMC Genomics
Date Published2019 Sep 18

BACKGROUND: Genomic evaluation is usually based on a set of markers assumed to be linked with causal mutations. Selection and precise management of major genes and the remaining polygenic component might be improved by including causal polymorphisms in the evaluation models. In this study, various methods involving a known mutation were used to estimate prediction accuracy. The SOCS2 gene, which influences body growth, milk production and somatic cell scores, a proxy for mastitis, was studied as an example in dairy sheep.

METHODS: The data comprised 1,503,148 phenotypes and 9844 54K SNPs genotypes. The SOCS2 SNP was genotyped for 4297 animals and imputed in the above 9844 animals. Breeding values and their accuracies were estimated for each of nine traits by using single-step approaches. Pedigree-based BLUP, single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) involving the 54K ovine SNPs chip, and four weighted ssGBLUP (WssGBLUP) methods were compared. In WssGBLUP methods, weights are assigned to SNPs depending on their effect on the trait. The ssGBLUP and WssGBLUP methods were again tested after including the SOCS2 causal mutation as a SNP. Finally, the Gene Content approach was tested, which uses a multiple-trait model that considers the SOCS2 genotype as a trait.

RESULTS: EBV accuracies were increased by 14.03% between the pedigree-based BLUP and ssGBLUP methods and by 3.99% between ssGBLUP and WssGBLUP. Adding the SOCS2 SNP to ssGBLUP methods led to an average gain of 0.26%. Construction of the kinship matrix and estimation of breeding values was generally improved by placing emphasis on SNPs in regions with a strong effect on traits. In the absence of chip data, the Gene Content method, compared to pedigree-based BLUP, efficiently accounted for partial genotyping information on SOCS2 as accuracy was increased by 6.25%. This method also allowed dissociation of the genetic component due to the major gene from the remaining polygenic component.

CONCLUSIONS: Causal mutations with a moderate to strong effect can be captured with conventional SNP chips by applying appropriate genomic evaluation methods. The Gene Content method provides an efficient way to account for causal mutations in populations lacking genome-wide genotyping.

Alternate JournalBMC Genomics
PubMed ID31533617
PubMed Central IDPMC6751880
Grant ListANR-16-CE20-0010 / / Agence Nationale de la Recherche /