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The direct-maternal genetic correlation has little impact on genetic evaluations.

TitleThe direct-maternal genetic correlation has little impact on genetic evaluations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsDavid, I, Bouvier, F, Banville, M, Canario, L, Flatres-Grall, L, Balmisse, E, Garreau, H
JournalJ Anim Sci
Volume93
Issue12
Pagination5639-47
Date Published2015 Dec
ISSN1525-3163
Abstract

Obtaining unbiased estimates of the direct-maternal genetic correlation proves far from straightforward for several reasons. Consequently, the use of such over- or underestimated correlations may introduce errors in genetic evaluation models. The objective of our study was to evaluate how the value of the direct-maternal genetic correlation affects EBV. Direct, maternal, and total breeding values were predicted for the ADG or weight at weaning for 3 different species (sheep, rabbits, and pigs) using models that differ depending on the fixed value of the direct-maternal genetic correlation (ranging from -0.9 to 0.9) as well as a model in which the correlation was estimated. The results were consistent between species. The direct-maternal genetic correlation had a greater impact on the estimated maternal genetic effects than on direct effects. The lowest correlations between maternal breeding values obtained with different models were -0.20, -0.01, and -0.72 in pigs, sheep, and rabbits, respectively, whereas for the direct breeding value, the lowest correlations were 0.45, 0.90, and 0.95 in pigs, sheep, and rabbits, respectively. The total EBV, calculated as the unweighted sum of direct and maternal genetic effects, did not differ greatly between the models, the lowest correlations between total breeding values being 0.93, 0.98, and 0.97 for pigs, sheep, and rabbits, respectively. Given the uncertainty associated with estimating the direct-maternal genetic correlation, setting its value to 0 in genetic evaluation models appears to be a good compromise.

DOI10.2527/jas.2015-9548
Alternate JournalJ. Anim. Sci.
PubMed ID26641173