Genomic selection for two traits in a maternal pig breeding scheme

J Anim Sci. 2013 Jul;91(7):3079-87. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5113. Epub 2013 May 8.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to compare different implementations of genomic selection to a conventional maternal pig breeding scheme, when selection was based partly on production traits and partly on maternal traits. A nucleus pig breeding population with size and structure similar to Norwegian Landrace was simulated where equal weight was used for maternal and production traits. To genotype the boars at the boar station and base the final selection of boars on genomic breeding values increased total genetic gain by 13% and reduced the rate of inbreeding by 40%, without significantly affecting the relative contribution of each trait to total genetic gain. To increase the size of the reference population and thereby accuracy of selection, female sibs in the selected litters can also be genotyped to increase genetic gain for maternal traits more than for production traits, thereby resulting in an increased relative contribution of maternal traits to total genetic gain. Genotyping 2,400 females each year increased the relative contribution of maternal traits to total genetic gain from 16 to 32%. Performing preselection of males by allowing genotyping of 2 males per litter and allowing for selection across and within litters before the boar test increased genetic gain by 5 to 11%, compared with genotyping the boars at the boar station, without significant effects on the relative contribution of each trait to total genetic gain. Genotyping more animals consequently increased genetic gain. Genotyping females to build a larger reference base for maternal traits gave similar genetic gain as genotyping the same amount of additional males but with a lower rate of inbreeding and a greater contribution of maternal traits to total genetic gain. In conclusion, genotyping females should be prioritized before genotyping more males than the tested boars if the breeding goal is to increase maternal traits specifically over production traits or genomic selection is used as a tool to reduce the rate of inbreeding.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breeding / methods*
  • Female
  • Genotype*
  • Inbreeding
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Phenotype*
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Sus scrofa / genetics
  • Sus scrofa / physiology*