Study of genomic mating using the data of SNP genotyping array
ABSTRACT: In the breeding programs with local breeds, it is crucial to balance the selection for genetic gain and the maintaining of genetic diversity. These two objectives are often conflicting, and finding the optimal point of the trade-off has been a challenge for breeders. Genomic selection (GS) provides a revolutionary tool for the genetic improvement of farm animals. At the same time, it can increase inbreeding and produce a more rapid depletion of genetic variability of the selected traits in future generations. Optimum-contribution selection (OCS) represents an approach to maximize genetic gain while constraining inbreeding within a targeted range. In the present study, 515 Ningxiang pigs were genotyped with the Illumina Porcine SNP60 array or the GeneSeek Genomic Profiler Porcine 50K array. The Ningxiang pigs were found to be highly inbred at the genomic level. Average locus-wise inbreeding coefficients were 0.41 and 0.37 for the two SNP arrays used, whereas genomic inbreeding coefficients based on runs of homozygosity were 0.24 and 0.25, respectively. Simulated phenotypic data were used to assess the utility of genomic OCS (GOCS) in comparison with GS without inbreeding control. GOCS was conducted under two scenarios, selecting sires only (GOCS_S) or selecting sires and dams (GOCS_SD), while kinships were constrained on selected parents. The genetic gain for average daily body weight gain (ADG) per generation was between 18.99 and 20.55 g with GOCS_S, and between 23.20 and 28.92 with GOCS_SD, and it varied from 25.38 to 48.38 g under GS without controlling inbreeding. While the rate of genetic gain per generation obtained using GS was substantially larger than that obtained by the two scenarios of genomic OCS in the beginning generations of selection, the difference in the genetic gain of ADG between GS and GOCS reduced quickly in latter generations. At generation ten, the difference in the realized rates of genetic gain between GS and GOCS_SD diminished and ended up with even a slightly higher genetic gain with GOCS_SD, due to the rapid loss of genetic variance with GS and fixation of causative genes. The rate of inbreeding was mostly maintained below 5% per generation with genomic OCS, whereas it increased to between 10.5% and 15.3% per generation with GS. Therefore, genomic OCS appears to be a sustainable strategy for the genetic improvement of local breeds such as Ningxiang pigs, but keeping mind that a variety of GOCS methods exist and the optimal forms remain to be exploited further.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Optimal contributions selection (OCS) provides animal breeders with a framework for maximising genetic gain for a predefined rate of inbreeding. Simulation studies have indicated that the source of the selective advantage of OCS is derived from breeding decisions being more closely aligned with estimates of Mendelian sampling terms ([Formula: see text]) of selection candidates, rather than estimated breeding values (EBV). This study represents the first attempt to assess the source of the selective advantage provided by OCS using a commercial pig population and by testing three hypotheses: (1) OCS places more emphasis on [Formula: see text] compared to EBV for determining which animals were selected as parents, (2) OCS places more emphasis on [Formula: see text] compared to EBV for determining which of those parents were selected to make a long-term genetic contribution (r), and (3) OCS places more emphasis on [Formula: see text] compared to EBV for determining the magnitude of r. The population studied also provided an opportunity to investigate the convergence of r over time.<h4>Results</h4>Selection intensity limited the number of males available for analysis, but females provided some evidence that the selective advantage derived from applying an OCS algorithm resulted from greater weighting being placed on [Formula: see text] during the process of decision-making. Male r were found to converge initially at a faster rate than female r, with approximately 90% convergence achieved within seven generations across both sexes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study of commercial data provides some support to results from theoretical and simulation studies that the source of selective advantage from OCS comes from [Formula: see text]. The implication that genomic selection (GS) improves estimation of [Formula: see text] should allow for even greater genetic gains for a predefined rate of inbreeding, once the synergistic benefits of combining OCS and GS are realised.
Project description:In recent decades, Holstein-Friesian (HF) selection schemes have undergone profound changes, including the introduction of optimal contribution selection (OCS; around 2000), a major shift in breeding goal composition (around 2000) and the implementation of genomic selection (GS; around 2010). These changes are expected to have influenced genetic diversity trends. Our aim was to evaluate genome-wide and region-specific diversity in HF artificial insemination (AI) bulls in the Dutch-Flemish breeding program from 1986 to 2015.Pedigree and genotype data (~?75.5 k) of 6280 AI-bulls were used to estimate rates of genome-wide inbreeding and kinship and corresponding effective population sizes. Region-specific inbreeding trends were evaluated using regions of homozygosity (ROH). Changes in observed allele frequencies were compared to those expected under pure drift to identify putative regions under selection. We also investigated the direction of changes in allele frequency over time.Effective population size estimates for the 1986-2015 period ranged from 69 to 102. Two major breakpoints were observed in genome-wide inbreeding and kinship trends. Around 2000, inbreeding and kinship levels temporarily dropped. From 2010 onwards, they steeply increased, with pedigree-based, ROH-based and marker-based inbreeding rates as high as 1.8, 2.1 and 2.8% per generation, respectively. Accumulation of inbreeding varied substantially across the genome. A considerable fraction of markers showed changes in allele frequency that were greater than expected under pure drift. Putative selected regions harboured many quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated to a wide range of traits. In consecutive 5-year periods, allele frequencies changed more often in the same direction than in opposite directions, except when comparing the 1996-2000 and 2001-2005 periods.Genome-wide and region-specific diversity trends reflect major changes in the Dutch-Flemish HF breeding program. Introduction of OCS and the shift in breeding goal were followed by a drop in inbreeding and kinship and a shift in the direction of changes in allele frequency. After introduction of GS, rates of inbreeding and kinship increased substantially while allele frequencies continued to change in the same direction as before GS. These results provide insight in the effect of breeding practices on genomic diversity and emphasize the need for efficient management of genetic diversity in GS schemes.
Project description:Long-term genomic selection (GS) requires strategies that balance genetic gain with population diversity, to sustain progress for traits under selection, and to keep diversity for future breeding. In a simulation model for a recurrent selection scheme, we provide the first head-to-head comparison of two such existing strategies: genomic optimal contributions selection (GOCS), which limits realized genomic relationship among selection candidates, and weighted genomic selection (WGS), which upscales rare allele effects in GS. Compared to GS, both methods provide the same higher long-term genetic gain and a similar lower inbreeding rate, despite some inherent limitations. GOCS does not control the inbreeding rate component linked to trait selection, and, therefore, does not strike the optimal balance between genetic gain and inbreeding. This makes it less effective throughout the breeding scheme, and particularly so at the beginning, where genetic gain and diversity may not be competing. For WGS, truncation selection proved suboptimal to manage rare allele frequencies among the selection candidates. To overcome these limitations, we introduce two new set selection methods that maximize a weighted index balancing genetic gain with controlling expected heterozygosity (IND-HE) or maintaining rare alleles (IND-RA), and show that these outperform GOCS and WGS in a nearly identical way. While requiring further testing, we believe that the inherent benefits of the IND-HE and IND-RA methods will transfer from our simulation framework to many practical breeding settings, and are therefore a major step forward toward efficient long-term genomic selection.
Project description:Optimum contribution selection (OCS) is effective for increasing genetic gain, controlling the rate of inbreeding and enables maintenance of genetic diversity. However, this diversity may be caused by high migrant contributions (MC) in the population due to introgression of genetic material from other breeds, which can threaten the conservation of small local populations. Therefore, breeding objectives should not only focus on increasing genetic gains but also on maintaining genetic originality and diversity of native alleles. This study aimed at investigating whether OCS was improved by including MC and modified kinships that account for breed origin of alleles. Three objective functions were considered for minimizing kinship, minimizing MC and maximizing genetic gain in the offspring generation, and we investigated their effects on German Angler and Vorderwald cattle.In most scenarios, the results were similar for Angler and Vorderwald cattle. A significant positive correlation between MC and estimated breeding values of the selection candidates was observed for both breeds, thus traditional OCS would increase MC. Optimization was performed under the condition that the rate of inbreeding did not exceed 1% and at least 30% of the maximum progress was achieved for all other criteria. Although traditional OCS provided the highest breeding values under restriction of classical kinship, the magnitude of MC in the progeny generation was not controlled. When MC were constrained or minimized, the kinship at native alleles increased compared to the reference scenario. Thus, in addition to constraining MC, constraining kinship at native alleles is required to ensure that native genetic diversity is maintained. When kinship at native alleles was constrained, the classical kinship was automatically lowered in most cases and more sires were selected. However, the average breeding value in the next generation was also lower than that obtained with traditional OCS.For local breeds with historical introgressions, current breeding programs should focus on increasing genetic gain and controlling inbreeding, as well as maintaining the genetic originality of the breeds and the diversity of native alleles via the inclusion of MC and kinship at native alleles in the OCS process.
Project description:Breeding schemes that utilize modern breeding methods like genomic selection (GS) and speed breeding (SB) have the potential to accelerate genetic gain for different crops. We investigated through stochastic computer simulation the advantages and disadvantages of adopting both GS and SB (SpeedGS) into commercial breeding programs for allogamous crops. In addition, we studied the effect of omitting one or two selection stages from the conventional phenotypic scheme on GS accuracy, genetic gain, and inbreeding. As an example, we simulated GS and SB for five traits (heading date, forage yield, seed yield, persistency, and quality) with different genetic architectures and heritabilities (0.7, 0.3, 0.4, 0.1, and 0.3; respectively) for a tall fescue breeding program. We developed a new method to simulate correlated traits with complex architectures of which effects can be sampled from multiple distributions, e.g. to simulate the presence of both minor and major genes. The phenotypic selection scheme required 11 years, while the proposed SpeedGS schemes required four to nine years per cycle. Generally, SpeedGS schemes resulted in higher genetic gain per year for all traits especially for traits with low heritability such as persistency. Our results showed that running more SB rounds resulted in higher genetic gain per cycle when compared to phenotypic or GS only schemes and this increase was more pronounced per year when cycle time was shortened by omitting cycle stages. While GS accuracy declined with additional SB rounds, the decline was less in round three than in round two, and it stabilized after the fourth SB round. However, more SB rounds resulted in higher inbreeding rate, which could limit long-term genetic gain. The inbreeding rate was reduced by approximately 30% when generating the initial population for each cycle through random crosses instead of generating half-sib families. Our study demonstrated a large potential for additional genetic gain from combining GS and SB. Nevertheless, methods to mitigate inbreeding should be considered for optimal utilization of these highly accelerated breeding programs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Simulation and empirical studies of genomic selection (GS) show accuracies sufficient to generate rapid gains in early selection cycles. Beyond those cycles, allele frequency changes, recombination, and inbreeding make analytical prediction of gain impossible. The impacts of GS on long-term gain should be studied prior to its implementation. METHODS: A simulation case-study of this issue was done for barley, an inbred crop. On the basis of marker data on 192 breeding lines from an elite six-row spring barley program, stochastic simulation was used to explore the effects of large or small initial training populations with heritabilities of 0.2 or 0.5, applying GS before or after phenotyping, and applying additional weight on low-frequency favorable marker alleles. Genomic predictions were from ridge regression or a Bayesian analysis. RESULTS: Assuming that applying GS prior to phenotyping shortened breeding cycle time by 50%, this practice strongly increased early selection gains but also caused the loss of many favorable QTL alleles, leading to loss of genetic variance, loss of GS accuracy, and a low selection plateau. Placing additional weight on low-frequency favorable marker alleles, however, allowed GS to increase their frequency earlier on, causing an initial increase in genetic variance. This dynamic led to higher long-term gain while mitigating losses in short-term gain. Weighted GS also increased the maintenance of marker polymorphism, ensuring that QTL-marker linkage disequilibrium was higher than in unweighted GS. CONCLUSIONS: Losing favorable alleles that are in weak linkage disequilibrium with markers is perhaps inevitable when using GS. Placing additional weight on low-frequency favorable alleles, however, may reduce the rate of loss of such alleles to below that of phenotypic selection. Applying such weights at the beginning of GS implementation is important.
Project description:Genomic selection (GS) approaches, in combination with reproductive technologies, are revolutionizing the design and implementation of breeding programs in livestock species, particularly in cattle. GS leverages genomic readouts to provide estimates of breeding value early in the life of animals. However, the capacity of these approaches for improving genetic gain in breeding programs is limited by generation interval, the average age of an animal when replacement progeny are born. Here, we present a cost-effective approach that combines GS with reproductive technologies to reduce generation interval by rapidly producing high genetic merit calves.
Project description:The long-term performance of different selection strategies was evaluated via simulation using the example of a local cattle breed, German Angler cattle. Different optimum contribution selection (OCS) approaches to maximize genetic gain were compared to a reference scenario without selection and truncation selection. The kinships and migrant contribution (MC) were estimated from genomic data. Truncation selection achieved the highest genetic gain but decreased diversity considerably at native alleles. It also caused the highest increase in MCs. Traditional OCS, which only constrains kinship, achieved almost the same genetic gain but also caused a small increase of MC and remarkably reduced the diversity of native alleles. When MC was required not to increase and the increase of kinship at native alleles was restricted, the MC levels and the diversity at native alleles were well managed, and the genetic gain was only slightly reduced. However, genetic progress was substantially lower in the scenario that aimed to recover the original genetic background. Truncation selection and traditional OCS selection both reduce the genetic originality of breeds with historical introgression. The inclusion of MC and kinship at native alleles as additional constraints in OCS showed great potential for conservation. Recovery of the original genetic background is possible but requires many generations of selection and reduces the genetic progress in performance traits. Hence, constraining MCs at their current values can be recommended to avoid further reduction of genetic originality.
Project description:Genomic selection (GS) offers the possibility to estimate the effects of genome-wide molecular markers, which can be used to calculate genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs) for individuals without phenotypes. GEBVs can serve as a selection criterion in recurrent GS, maximizing single-cycle but not necessarily long-term genetic gain. As simple genome-wide sums, GEBVs do not take into account other genomic information, such as the map positions of loci and linkage phases of alleles. Therefore, we herein propose a novel selection criterion called expected maximum haploid breeding value (EMBV). EMBV predicts the expected performance of the best among a limited number of gametes that a candidate contributes to the next generation, if selected. We used simulations to examine the performance of EMBV in comparison with GEBV as well as the recently proposed criterion optimal haploid value (OHV) and weighted GS. We considered different population sizes, numbers of selected candidates, chromosome numbers and levels of dominant gene action. Criterion EMBV outperformed GEBV after about 5 selection cycles, achieved higher long-term genetic gain and maintained higher diversity in the population. The other selection criteria showed the potential to surpass both GEBV and EMBV in advanced cycles of the breeding program, but yielded substantially lower genetic gain in early to intermediate cycles, which makes them unattractive for practical breeding. Moreover, they were largely inferior in scenarios with dominant gene action. Overall, EMBV shows high potential to be a promising alternative selection criterion to GEBV for recurrent genomic selection.
Project description:Although long-term genetic gain has been achieved through increasing use of modern breeding methods and technologies, the rate of genetic gain needs to be accelerated to meet humanity's demand for agricultural products. In this regard, genomic selection (GS) has been considered most promising for genetic improvement of the complex traits controlled by many genes each with minor effects. Livestock scientists pioneered GS application largely due to livestock's significantly higher individual values and the greater reduction in generation interval that can be achieved in GS. Large-scale application of GS in plants can be achieved by refining field management to improve heritability estimation and prediction accuracy and developing optimum GS models with the consideration of genotype-by-environment interaction and non-additive effects, along with significant cost reduction. Moreover, it would be more effective to integrate GS with other breeding tools and platforms for accelerating the breeding process and thereby further enhancing genetic gain. In addition, establishing an open-source breeding network and developing transdisciplinary approaches would be essential in enhancing breeding efficiency for small- and medium-sized enterprises and agricultural research systems in developing countries. New strategies centered on GS for enhancing genetic gain need to be developed.