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Genetic evaluation with major genes and polygenic inheritance when some animals are not genotyped using gene content multiple-trait BLUP.

TitleGenetic evaluation with major genes and polygenic inheritance when some animals are not genotyped using gene content multiple-trait BLUP.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLegarra, A, Vitezica, ZG
JournalGenet Sel Evol
Date Published2015

BACKGROUND: In pedigreed populations with a major gene segregating for a quantitative trait, it is not clear how to use pedigree, genotype and phenotype information when some individuals are not genotyped. We propose to consider gene content at the major gene as a second trait correlated to the quantitative trait, in a gene content multiple-trait best linear unbiased prediction (GCMTBLUP) method.RESULTS: The genetic covariance between the trait and gene content at the major gene is a function of the substitution effect of the gene. This genetic covariance can be written in a multiple-trait form that accommodates any pattern of missing values for either genotype or phenotype data. Effects of major gene alleles and the genetic covariance between genotype at the major gene and the phenotype can be estimated using standard EM-REML or Gibbs sampling. Prediction of breeding values with genotypes at the major gene can use multiple-trait BLUP software. Major genes with more than two alleles can be considered by including negative covariances between gene contents at each different allele. We simulated two scenarios: a selected and an unselected trait with heritabilities of 0.05 and 0.5, respectively. In both cases, the major gene explained half the genetic variation. Competing methods used imputed gene contents derived by the method of Gengler et al. or by iterative peeling. Imputed gene contents, in contrast to GCMTBLUP, do not consider information on the quantitative trait for genotype prediction. GCMTBLUP gave unbiased estimates of the gene effect, in contrast to the other methods, with less bias and better or equal accuracy of prediction. GCMTBLUP improved estimation of genotypes in non-genotyped individuals, in particular if these individuals had own phenotype records and the trait had a high heritability. Ignoring the major gene in genetic evaluation led to serious biases and decreased prediction accuracy.CONCLUSIONS: CGMTBLUP is the best linear predictor of additive genetic merit including pedigree, phenotype, and genotype information at major genes, since it considers missing genotypes. Simulations confirm that it is a simple, efficient and theoretically sound method for genetic evaluation of traits influenced by polygenic inheritance and one or several major genes.

Alternate JournalGenet. Sel. Evol.
PubMed ID26576649