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J Anim Sci. 2005 Oct;83(10):2271-9.

Genetic evaluation using parentage information from genetic markers.

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  • 1AgResearch, Invermay Agricultural Centre, Mosgiel 9032, New Zealand. ken.dodds@agresearch.co.nz


Genetic evaluation relies on pedigree information to account for the trait information on individuals and their relatives. Recording pedigrees may place unfavorable restrictions on the management of breeding populations, such as the use of single-sire mating groups and the observation of parturition. The use of DNA marker information is an alternative method to identify parents, but it is difficult to assign the parents unambiguously for all progeny in extensively farmed livestock without the use of very many markers. We present methods that use DNA information on parentage within a genetic evaluation system that allow for genotyping errors and for the parentage information to be incomplete, with probabilities assigned to possible parent pairs (i.e., fractional parentage assignment). Two of these methods use a computing strategy that circumvents the high memory requirements associated with the application of previous methods designed for use with fractional parentage assignment. This strategy has an additional advantage of allowing the same statistical models to be used in the evaluation as with recorded pedigrees. The use of DNA marker-based parentage for genetic evaluation is associated with lower genetic gain (at the same survival levels) than by using the true pedigree. This decrease in gain depends on a number of factors, including trait heritability and the DNA markers used. The methods we have described show how DNA marker information could be used to replace traditional pedigree recording.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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