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Application of a multiple-trait, multiple-country genetic evaluation model for female fertility traits

Application of a multiple-trait, multiple-country genetic evaluation model for female fertility traits

Journal of Dairy Science 93(12): 5977-5986

The need to implement a method that can handle multiple traits per country in international genetic evaluations is evident. Today, many countries have implemented multiple-trait national genetic evaluations and they may expect to have their traits simultaneously analyzed in international genetic evaluations. Traits from the same country are residually correlated and the method currently in use, single-trait multiple across-country evaluation (ST-MACE), cannot handle nonzero residual correlations. Therefore, multiple-trait, multiple across-country evaluation (MT-MACE) was proposed to handle several traits from the same country simultaneously. To test the robustness of MT-MACE on real data, female fertility was chosen as a complex trait with low heritability. Data from 7 Holstein populations, 3 with 2 traits and 4 with 1 trait, were used. The differences in the estimated genetic correlations by MT-MACE and the single ST-MACE analysis (average absolute deviation of 0.064) were due to the bias of considering several traits from the same country in the ST-MACE analysis. However, the differences between the estimated genetic correlations by MT-MACE and multiple ST-MACE analyses avoiding more than one trait per country in each analysis (average absolute deviation of 0.066) were due to the lack of analysis of the correlated traits from the same country together and using the reported within-country genetic correlations. Applying MT-MACE resulted in reliability gain in international genetic evaluations, which was different from trait to trait and from bull to bull. The average reliability gain by MT-MACE over ST-MACE was 3.0 points for domestic bulls and 6.3 points for foreign bulls. Even countries with 1 trait benefited from the joint analysis of traits from the 2-trait countries. Another superiority of MT-MACE over ST-MACE is that the bulls that do not have national genetic evaluation for some traits from multiple trait countries will receive international genetic evaluations for those traits. Rank correlations were high between ST-MACE and MT-MACE when considering all bulls. However, the situation was different for the top 100 bulls. Simultaneous analysis of traits from the same country affected bull ranks, especially for top 100 bulls. Multi-trait MACE is a recommendable and robust method for international genetic evaluations and is appropriate for handling multiple traits per country, which can increase the reliability of international genetic evaluations.

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Accession: 051607423

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21094772

DOI: 10.3168/jds.2010-3437

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