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J Dairy Sci. 2013 May;96(5):3272-84. doi: 10.3168/jds.2011-4987. Epub 2013 Mar 8.

Effects of a national genomic preselection on the international genetic evaluations.

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  • 1UMR 1313 Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 78 352 Jouy-en-Josas, France.


Genomic preselection of young bulls is now widely implemented in dairy breeding schemes, especially in the Holstein breed. However, if this step is not accounted for in genetic evaluation models, the national breeding values of bulls retained by a genomic preselection and of their progeny are estimated with bias. It follows that countries participating in international genetic evaluations will provide a selected and possibly biased set of data to the Interbull Centre (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden). The objective of the study was to show evidence of bias at the international level due to a genomic preselection step in national breeding schemes. The consequence of a genomic preselection for the international evaluations (i.e., using selected and biased national estimated breeding values) was simulated using actual national estimated breeding values as a proxy for genomically enhanced breeding values. Data were provided for 3 countries with a large population of Holstein bulls. International breeding values from simulated scenarios were compared with international breeding values using all available data, assumed to be complete and unbiased. Bias was measured among young bulls retained by a genomic preselection and their contemporaries in other countries. The results were analyzed by traits measured within each country and by country of origin of the young bulls. It turned out that sending preselected data, though based on genomic information, created bias in international evaluations, penalizing young bulls from the country sending the incorrect data. It also had an effect on the young bulls from the other countries. Sending biased data further affected the quality of international evaluations. This study underlines the importance of accounting for genomic preselection at the national level first. Moreover, submitting all available data appeared essential to maintain the quality of the international genetic evaluations after implementation of a genomic preselection step.

Copyright © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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