The first national single-step, full-information (phenotype, pedigree, and marker genotype) genetic evaluation was developed for final score of US Holsteins. Data included final scores recorded from 1955 to 2009 for 6,232,548 Holsteins cows. BovineSNP50 (Illumina, San Diego, CA) genotypes from the Cooperative Dairy DNA Repository (Beltsville, MD) were available for 6,508 bulls. Three analyses used a repeatability animal model as currently used for the national US evaluation. The first 2 analyses used final scores recorded up to 2004. The first analysis used only a pedigree-based relationship matrix. The second analysis used a relationship matrix based on both pedigree and genomic information (single-step approach). The third analysis used the complete data set and only the pedigree-based relationship matrix. The fourth analysis used predictions from the first analysis (final scores up to 2004 and only a pedigree-based relationship matrix) and prediction using a genomic based matrix to obtain genetic evaluation (multiple-step approach). Different allele frequencies were tested in construction of the genomic relationship matrix. Coefficients of determination between predictions of young bulls from parent average, single-step, and multiple-step approaches and their 2009 daughter deviations were 0.24, 0.37 to 0.41, and 0.40, respectively. The highest coefficient of determination for a single-step approach was observed when using a genomic relationship matrix with assumed allele frequencies of 0.5. Coefficients for regression of 2009 daughter deviations on parent-average, single-step, and multiple-step predictions were 0.76, 0.68 to 0.79, and 0.86, respectively, which indicated some inflation of predictions. The single-step regression coefficient could be increased up to 0.92 by scaling differences between the genomic and pedigree-based relationship matrices with little loss in accuracy of prediction. One complete evaluation took about 2h of computing time and 2.7 gigabytes of memory. Computing times for single-step analyses were slightly longer (2%) than for pedigree-based analysis. A national single-step genetic evaluation with the pedigree relationship matrix augmented with genomic information provided genomic predictions with accuracy and bias comparable to multiple-step procedures and could account for any population or data structure. Advantages of single-step evaluations should increase in the future when animals are pre-selected on genotypes.
Copyright 2010 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.