Data_Sheet_1_Applying the Metafounders Approach for Genomic Evaluation in a Multibreed Beef Cattle Population.docx (227.45 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Applying the Metafounders Approach for Genomic Evaluation in a Multibreed Beef Cattle Population.docx

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posted on 03.12.2020, 05:36 by Vinícius Silva Junqueira, Paulo Sávio Lopes, Daniela Lourenco, Fabyano Fonseca e Silva, Fernando Flores Cardoso

Pedigree information is incomplete by nature and commonly not well-established because many of the genetic ties are not known a priori or can be wrong. The genomic era brought new opportunities to assess relationships between individuals. However, when pedigree and genomic information are used simultaneously, which is the case of single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP), defining the genetic base is still a challenge. One alternative to overcome this challenge is to use metafounders, which are pseudo-individuals that describe the genetic relationship between the base population individuals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of metafounders on the estimation of breeding values for tick resistance under ssGBLUP for a multibreed population composed by Hereford, Braford, and Zebu animals. Three different scenarios were studied: pedigree-based model (BLUP), ssGBLUP, and ssGBLUP with metafounders (ssGBLUPm). In ssGBLUPm, a total of four different metafounders based on breed of origin (i.e., Hereford, Braford, Zebu, and unknown) were included for the animals with missing parents. The relationship coefficient between metafounders was in average 0.54 (ranging from 0.34 to 0.96) suggesting an overlap between ancestor populations. The estimates of metafounder relationships indicate that Hereford and Zebu breeds have a possible common ancestral relationship. Inbreeding coefficients calculated following the metafounder approach had less negative values, suggesting that ancestral populations were large enough and that gametes inherited from the historical population were not identical. Variance components were estimated based on ssGBLUPm, ssGBLUP, and BLUP, but the values from ssGBLUPm were scaled to provide a fair comparison with estimates from the other two models. In general, additive, residual, and phenotypic variance components in the Hereford population were smaller than in Braford across different models. The addition of genomic information increased heritability for Hereford, possibly because of improved genetic relationships. As expected, genomic models had greater predictive ability, with an additional gain for ssGBLUPm over ssGBLUP. The increase in predictive ability was greater for Herefords. Our results show the potential of using metafounders to increase accuracy of GEBV, and therefore, the rate of genetic gain in beef cattle populations with partial levels of missing pedigree information.