Genetic evaluation of traits distributed as Poisson-binomial with reference to reproductive characters

Theor Appl Genet. 1987 Apr;73(6):870-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00289392.


A procedure of genetic evaluation of reproductive traits such as litter size and survival in a polytocous species under the assumption of polygenic inheritance is described. Conditional distributions of these traits are assumed to be Poisson and Bernoulli, respectively. Using the concept of generalized linear models, logarithmic (litter size) and probit (survival) functions are described as linear combinations of "nuisance" environmental effects and of transmitting abilities of sires or individual breeding values. The liability of survival is expressed conditionally to the logarithm of litter size. Inferences on location parameters are based on the mode of their joint posterior density assuming a prior multivariate normal distribution. A method of estimation of the dispersion parameters is also presented. The use of a "truncated" Poisson distribution is suggested to account for missing records on litter size.