Opportunities for genomic selection of cheese-making traits in Montbéliarde cows - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Dairy Science Year : 2022

Opportunities for genomic selection of cheese-making traits in Montbéliarde cows


As part of the From'MIR project, traits related to the composition and cheese-making properties (CMP) of milk were predicted from 6.6 million mid-infrared spectra taken from 410,622 Montbéliarde cows (19,862 with genotypes). Genome-wide association studies of imputed whole-genome sequences highlighted candidate SNPs that were then added to the EuroG10K BeadChip, which is routinely used in genomic selection. In the present study, we (1) assessed the reliability of single-step genomic BLUP breeding values (ssEBVs) for cheese yields, coagulation traits, and casein and calcium content generated from test-day records of the first 3 lactations, (2) estimated realized genetic trends for these traits over the last decade, and (3) simulated different cheese-making breeding objectives and estimated the responses for CMP as well as for other traits currently selected in the Montbéliarde breed. To estimate the reliability of ssEBVs, the available data were split into 2 independent training and validation sets that respectively contained cows with the oldest and the most recent lactation data. The training set included 155,961 cows (12,850 with genotypes) and was used to predict ssEBVs of 2,125 genotyped cows in the validation set. We first tested 4 models that included either lactation (LACT) or test-day (TD) records from the first (1) or the first 3 (3) lactations, giving equal weight to all 50K SNP effects. Mean reliabilities were 61%, 62%, 63%, and 64% for the LACT1, LACT3, TD1, and TD3 models, respectively. Using the most accurate model (TD3), we then compared the reliabilities of 3 scenarios with: SNPs from the Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip only, equally weighted (50K); 50K SNPs plus additional candidate SNPs, equally weighted (50K+); and 50K and candidate SNPs with additional weight given to 7 to 14 candidate SNPs, depending on the trait (CAND). The 50K+ and CAND scenarios led to similar mean reliabilities (67%) and both outperformed the 50K scenario (64%), whereas the CAND scenario generated the less biased ssEBVs. To assess genetic trends, SNP effects were estimated with a single-step GBLUP based on the TD3 model and the 50K scenario applied to the whole population (2.6 million performance records from 190,261 cows and 423,348 animals in the pedigree, of which 21,874 were genotyped) and then applied to 50K genotypes of 21,171 males and 311,761 females. We detected a positive genetic trend for all CMP during the last decade, probably due to selection for an increase in milk protein and fat content in Montbéliarde cows. Finally, we compared the selection responses to 3 different breeding objectives: the current Montbéliarde total merit index (TMI) and 2 alternative scenarios that gave a weight of 70% to TMI and the remaining 30% to either milk casein content (TMI-COMP) or a combination of 3 CMP (TMI-Cheese). The TMI-Cheese scenario yielded the best responses for all the CMP analyzed, whereas values in the TMI-COMP scenario were intermediate, with a slight effect on other traits currently included in TMI. Based on these results, a program of genomic evaluation for CMP predicted from mid-infrared spectra was designed and implemented for the Montbéliarde breed.


Animal genetics
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Dates and versions

hal-03655719 , version 1 (29-04-2022)




M.P. Sanchez, T. Tribout, S. Fritz, V. Wolf, C. Laithier, et al.. Opportunities for genomic selection of cheese-making traits in Montbéliarde cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 2022, ⟨10.3168/jds.2021-21558⟩. ⟨hal-03655719⟩
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