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Bias and accuracy of dairy sheep evaluations using BLUP and SSGBLUP with metafounders and unknown parent groups

Abstract : Bias has been reported in genetic or genomic evaluations of several species. Common biases are systematic differences between averages of estimated and true breeding values, and their over- or under-dispersion. In addition, comparing accuracies of pedigree versus genomic predictions is a difficult task. This work proposes to analyse biases and accuracies in the genetic evaluation of milk yield in Manech Tete Rousse dairy sheep, over several years, by testing five models and using the estimators of the linear regression method. We tested models with and without genomic information [best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) and single-step genomic BLUP (SSGBLUP)] and using three strategies to handle missing pedigree [unknown parent groups (UPG), UPG with QP transformation in the H matrix (EUPG) and metafounders (MF)]. We compared estimated breeding values (EBV) of selected rams at birth with the EBV of the same rams obtained each year from the first daughters with phenotypes up to 2017. We compared within and across models. Finally, we compared EBV at birth of the rams with and without genomic information. Within models, bias and over-dispersion were small (bias: 0.20 to 0.40 genetic standard deviations; slope of the dispersion: 0.95 to 0.99) except for model SSGBLUP-EUPG that presented an important over-dispersion (0.87). The estimates of accuracies confirm that the addition of genomic information increases the accuracy of EBV in young rams. The smallest bias was observed with BLUP-MF and SSGBLUP-MF. When we estimated dispersion by comparing a model with no markers to models with markers, SSGBLUP-MF showed a value close to 1, indicating that there was no problem in dispersion, whereas SSGBLUP-EUPG and SSGBLUP-UPG showed a significant under-dispersion. Another important observation was the heterogeneous behaviour of the estimates over time, which suggests that a single check could be insufficient to make a good analysis of genetic/genomic evaluations. The addition of genomic information increases the accuracy of EBV of young rams in Manech Tete Rousse. In this population that has missing pedigrees, the use of UPG and EUPG in SSGBLUP produced bias, whereas MF yielded unbiased estimates, and we recommend its use. We also recommend assessing biases and accuracies using multiple truncation points, since these statistics are subject to random variation across years.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 3:45:06 PM
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Fernando Macedo, Ole Christensen, Jean-Michel Astruc, Ignacio Aguilar, Yutaka Masuda, et al.. Bias and accuracy of dairy sheep evaluations using BLUP and SSGBLUP with metafounders and unknown parent groups. Genetics Selection Evolution, BioMed Central, 2020, 52 (1), ⟨10.1186/s12711-020-00567-1⟩. ⟨hal-02942141⟩

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