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Theor Appl Genet. 1995 Aug;91(3):421-31. doi: 10.1007/BF00222969.

Balancing selection response and rate of inbreeding by including genetic relationships in selection decisions.

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Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, NIG 2W1, Ontario, Canada.


An iterative selection strategy, based on estimated breeding values (EBV) and average relationship among selected individuals, is proposed to optimise the balance between genetic response and inbreeding. Stochastic simulation was used to compare rates of inbreeding and genetic gain with those of other strategies. For a range of heritabilities, population sizes and mating ratios, the iterative strategy, denoted ADJEBV, outperforms other strategies, giving the greatest genetic gain at a given rate of inbreeding and the least breeding at a given genetic gain. Where selection is currently by truncation on the EBV, with a restriction on the number of full-sibs selected, it should be possible to maintain similar levels of genetic gain and inbreeding with a reduction in population size of 10-30%, by changing to the iterative strategy. If performance is measured by the reduction in cumulative inbreeding without losing more than a given amount of genetic gain relative to results obtained under truncation selection on the EBV, then with the EBV based on a family index, the performance of ADJEBV is greater at low heritability, and is generally greater than where EBV are based on individual records. When comparisons of genetic response and inbreeding are made for alternative breeding scheme designs, schemes which give higher genetic gain within acceptable inbreeding levels would usually be favoured. If comparisons are made on this basis, then the selection method used should be ADJEBV, which maximises the genetic gain for a given level of inbreeding. The results indicated that all selection strategies used to reduce inbreeding had very small effects on the variance of gain, and so differences in this respect are unlikely to affect choices among selection strategies. Selection criteria are recommended based on maximising a selection objective which specifies the desired balance between genetic gain and inbreeding.


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