Two-stage selection strategies utilizing marker-quantitative trait locus information and individual performance

J Anim Sci. 1999 Aug;77(8):2008-18. doi: 10.2527/1999.7782008x.


Short- and long-term response to marker-assisted selection in two stages was studied using a stochastic simulation of a closed nucleus herd for beef production. First-stage selection was carried out within families based on information at a fully additive quantitative trait locus (QTL). Second-stage selection strategies were based on 1) individual phenotype, 2) individual phenotype precorrected for QTL, 3) a selection index incorporating phenotype and QTL information, 4) a standard animal model BLUP, and 5) a selection index incorporating marker-QTL information and standard animal model BLUP on records precorrected for QTL. All strategies were efficient in moving the favorable allele at the QTL to fixation, but they differed in the time to reach fixation. Mass selection was less efficient in changing allele frequencies than BLUP. Discounted accumulated response, accounting for the time response was realized and inflation rate, was proposed to rank strategies and to elude the conflict between short- and long-term response in marker-assisted selection. Discounted accumulated response at a time horizon of 20 yr for alternative two-stage selection strategies was compared with conventional BLUP carried out in second stage only. Within-family selection increased discounted accumulated response by more than 11% using Strategy 4 and by up to 12% using Strategy 5 at an inflation rate of 2%. The percentage increase in response was less for highly heritable traits and when the proportion of additive variance explained by the QTL was small. Strategy 5 gave larger response with reduced inbreeding. This strategy also resulted in the lowest cost-benefit ratio, requiring less genotyping per unit of response. Cost-benefit ratio for discounted genotyping and for discounted in vitro production of embryos for traits with low heritability was two to four times that for traits with high heritability. The use of first-stage selection slightly increased the level of inbreeding for both mass (Strategy 1) and BLUP selection (Strategies 4 and 5).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Breeding / economics
  • Breeding / methods*
  • Cattle / genetics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Gene Frequency
  • Models, Genetic
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable*
  • Selection, Genetic*


  • Biomarkers