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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Detection of evaluation bias caused by genomic preselection

Tyriseva, A. -M.; Mantysaari, E. A.; Jakobsen, J.; Aamand, G. P.; Durr, J.; Fikse, W. F.; Lidauer, M. H.


The aim of this simulation study was to investigate whether it is possible to detect the effect of genomic preselection on Mendelian sampling (MS) means or variances obtained by the MS validation test. Genomic preselection of bull calves is 1 additional potential source of bias in international evaluations unless adequately accounted for in national evaluations. Selection creates no bias in traditional breeding value evaluation if the data of all animals are included. However, this is not the case with genomic preselection, as it excludes culled bulls. Genomic breeding values become biased if calculated using a multistep procedure instead of, for example, a single-step method. Currently, about 60% of the countries participating in international bull evaluations have already adopted genomic selection in their breeding schemes. The data sent for multiple across-country evaluation can, therefore, be very heterogeneous, and a proper validation method is needed to ensure a fair comparison of the bulls included in international genetic evaluations. To study the effect of genomic preselection, we generated a total of 50 replicates under control and genomic preselection schemes using the structures of the real data and pedigree from a medium-size cow population. A genetic trend of 15% of the genetic standard deviation was created for both schemes. In carrying out the analyses, we used 2 different heritabilities: 0.25 and 0.10. From the start of genomic preselection, all bulls were genomically preselected. Their MS deviations were inflated with a value corresponding to selection of the best 10% of genomically tested bull calves. For cows, the MS deviations were unaltered. The results revealed a clear underestimation of bulls' breeding values (BV) after genomic preselection started, as well as a notable deviation from zero both in true and estimated MS means. The software developed recently for the MS validation test already produces yearly MS means, and they can be used to devise an appropriate test. Mean squared true MS of genomically preselected bulls was clearly inflated. After correcting for the simulated preselection bias, the true genetic variance was smaller than the parametric value used to simulate BV, and also below the variance based on the estimated BV. Based on this study, the lower the trait's heritability, the stronger the bias in estimated BV and MS means and variances. Daughters of genomically preselected bulls had higher true and estimated BV compared with the control scheme and only slightly elevated MS means, but no effect on genetic variances was observed.


genomic preselection; Mendelian sampling; evaluation bias; data validation

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2018, Volume: 101, number: 4, pages: 3155-3163

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

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