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Prediction of response to marker-assisted and genomic selection using selection index theory

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Selection index methods can be used for deterministic assessment of the potential benefit of including marker information in genetic improvement programmes using marker-assisted selection (MAS). By specifying estimates of breeding values derived from marker information (M-EBV) as a correlated trait with heritability equal to 1, it was demonstrated that marker information can be incorporated in standard software for selection index predictions of response and rates of inbreeding, which requires specifying phenotypic traits and their genetic parameters. Path coefficient methods were used to derive genetic and phenotypic correlations between M-EBV and the phenotypic data. Methods were extended to multi-trait selection and to the case when M-EBV are based on high-density marker genotype data, as in genomic selection. Methods were applied to several example scenarios, which confirmed previous results that MAS substantially increases response to selection but also demonstrated that MAS can result in substantial reductions in the rates of inbreeding. Although further validation by stochastic simulation is required, the developed methodology provides an easy means of deterministically evaluating the potential benefits of MAS and to optimize selection strategies with availability of marker data.
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Keywords: genomic selection; inbreeding; marker assisted selection; selection index; selection response

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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