The performance of different models for genetic analyses of clinical mastitis in Austrian Fleckvieh dual-purpose cows was evaluated. The main objective was to compare threshold sire models (probit and logit) with linear sire and linear animal models using REML algorithm. For comparison, data were also analyzed using a Bayesian threshold sire model. The models were evaluated with respect to ranking of sires and their predictive ability in cross-validation. Only minor differences were observed in estimated variance components and heritability from Bayesian and REML probit models. Heritabilities for probit and logit models were 0.06 and 0.08, respectively, whereas heritabilities for linear sire and linear animal models were lower (0.02). Correlations among ranking of sires from threshold and linear sire models were high (>0.99), whereas correlations between any sire model (threshold or linear) and the linear animal model were slightly lower (0.96). The worst sires were ranked very similar across all models, whereas for the best sires some reranking occurred. Further, models were evaluated based on their ability to predict future data, which is one of the main concerns of animal breeders. The predictive ability of each model was determined by using 2 criteria: mean squared error and Pearson correlation between predicted and observed value. Overall, the 5 models did not differ in predictive ability. In contrast to expectations, sire models had the same predictive ability as animal models. Linear models were found to be robust toward departures from normality and performed equally well as threshold models.
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