Using sequence variants of a QTL region improves the accuracy of genomic evaluation in French Saanen goats.

TitleUsing sequence variants of a QTL region improves the accuracy of genomic evaluation in French Saanen goats.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsTalouarn, E, Teissier, M, Bardou, P, Larroque, H, Clément, V, Palhière, I, Tosser-Klopp, G, Rupp, R, Robert-Granie, C
JournalJ Dairy Sci
Date Published2020 Oct 29

The enhanced availability of sequence data in livestock provides an opportunity for more accurate predictions in routine genomic evaluations. Such evaluations would therefore no longer rely only on the linkage disequilibrium between a chip marker and the causal mutation. The objective of this study was to assess the usefulness of sequence data in Saanen goats (n = 33) to better capture a quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 19 (CHI19) and improve the accuracy of predictions for 3 milk production traits, 5 type traits, and somatic cell scores. All 1,207 50K genotypes were imputed to the sequence level. Four scenarios, each using a subset of CHI19 imputed variants, were then tested. Sequence-derived information included all CHI19 variants (529,576), all variants in the QTL region (22,269), 178 variants selected in the QTL region and added to an updated chip, or 178 randomly selected variants on CHI19. Two genomic evaluation models were applied: single-step genomic BLUP and weighted single-step genomic BLUP. All scenarios were compared with single-step genomic BLUP using 50K genotypes. Best overall results were obtained using single-step genomic BLUP on 50K genotypes completed with all variants in the QTL region of chromosome 19 (6.2% average increase in accuracy for 9 traits) with the highest accuracy gain for fat yield (17.9%), significant increases for milk (13.7%) and protein yields (12.5%), and type traits associated with CHI19. Despite its association with the QTL region of chromosome 19, the somatic cell score showed decreased accuracy in every alternative scenario. Using all CHI19 variants led to an overall decrease of 4.8% in prediction accuracy. The updated chip was efficient and improved genomic evaluations by 3.1 to 6.4% on average, depending on the scenario. Indeed, information from only a few carefully selected variants increased accuracies for traits of interest when used in a single-step genomic BLUP model. In conclusion, using QTL region variants imputed from sequence data in single-step genomic evaluations represents a promising perspective for such evaluations in dairy goats. Furthermore, using only a limited number of selected variants in QTL regions, as available on SNP chip updates, significantly increases the accuracy for QTL-associated traits without deteriorating the evaluation accuracy for other traits. The latter approach is interesting, as it avoids time-consuming imputation and data formatting processes and provides reliable genotypes.

Alternate JournalJ Dairy Sci
PubMed ID33131807