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Breed-adjusted genomic relationship matrices as a method to account for population stratification in multibreed populations of tropically adapted beef heifers

Warburton, C. L., Costilla, R., Engle, B. N., Corbet, N. J., Allen, J. M., Fordyce, G., McGowan, M. R., Burns, B. M. and Hayes, B. J. (2021) Breed-adjusted genomic relationship matrices as a method to account for population stratification in multibreed populations of tropically adapted beef heifers. Animal Production Science .

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1071/AN21057

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/AN21057

Abstract

Context: Beef cattle breeds in Australia can broadly be broken up into two subspecies, namely, Bos indicus and Bos taurus. Due to the time since divergence between the subspecies, it is likely that mutations affecting quantitative traits have developed independently in each.Aims: We hypothesise that this will affect the prediction accuracy of genomic selection of admixed and composite populations that include both ancestral subspecies. Our study investigates methods to quantify population stratification in a multibreed population of tropically adapted heifers, with the aim of improving prediction accuracy of genomic selection for reproductive maturity score.Methods: We used genotypes and reproductive maturity phenotypes from 3695 tropically adapted heifers from three purebred populations, namely, Brahman, Santa Gertrudis and Droughtmaster. Two of these breeds, Santa Gertrudis and Droughtmaster, are stabilised composites of varying B. indicus × B. taurus ancestry, and the third breed, Brahman, has predominately B. indicus ancestry. Genotypes were imputed to three marker-panel densities and population stratification was accounted for in genomic relationship matrices by using breed-specific allele frequencies when calculating the genomic relationships among animals. Prediction accuracy and bias were determined using a five-fold cross validation of randomly selected multibreed cohorts.Key Results: Our results showed that the use of breed-adjusted genomic relationship matrices did not improve either prediction accuracy or bias for a lowly heritable trait such as reproductive maturity score. However, using breed-adjusted genomic relationship matrices allowed the capture of a higher proportion of additive genetic effects when estimating variance components.Conclusions: These findings suggest that, despite seeing no improvement in prediction accuracy, it may still be beneficial to use breed-adjusted genomic relationship matrices in multibreed populations to improve the estimation of variance components.Implications: As such, genomic evaluations using breed-adjusted genomic relationship matrices may be beneficial in multibreed populations.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:Keywords: adjusted genomic relationship matrix, allele frequency, genomic selection, admixed cattle population.
Subjects:Science > Biology > Genetics
Animal culture > Cattle
Deposited On:05 Aug 2021 00:23
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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