Evidence of biases in genetic evaluations due to genomic preselection in dairy cattle

J Dairy Sci. 2011 Feb;94(2):1011-20. doi: 10.3168/jds.2010-3804.


A genomic preselection step of young sires is now often included in dairy cattle breeding schemes. Young sires are selected based on their genomic breeding values. They have better Mendelian sampling contribution so that the assumption of random Mendelian sampling term in genetic evaluations is clearly violated. When these sires and their progeny are evaluated using BLUP, it is feared that estimated breeding values are biased. The effect of genomic selection on genetic evaluations was studied through simulations keeping the structure of the Holstein population in France. The quality of genetic evaluations was assessed by computing bias and accuracy from the difference and correlation between true and estimated breeding values, respectively, and also the mean square error of prediction. Different levels of heritability, selection intensity, and accuracy of genomic evaluation were tested. After only one generation and whatever the scenario, breeding values of preselected young sires and their daughters were significantly underestimated and their accuracy was decreased. Genomic preselection needs to be accounted for in genetic evaluation models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bias
  • Cattle / genetics*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Genome*
  • Male
  • Mendelian Randomization Analysis
  • Models, Genetic
  • Selection, Genetic*