Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 34, Number 5, September-October 2002
Page(s) 557 - 579
Genet. Sel. Evol. 34 (2002) 557-579
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2002023

Precision of methods for calculating identity-by-descent matrices using multiple markers

Anders Christian Sørensena, b, c, Ricardo Pong-Wonga, Jack J. Windigd and John A. Woolliamsa

a  Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS, UK
b  Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Danish Institute of Agricultural Science, P.O. Box 50, 8830 Tjele, Denmark
c  Department of Animal Science and Animal Health, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Grønnegårdsvej 2, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
d  Institute for Animal Science, ID-Lelystad, P.O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands

(Received 13 November 2001; accepted 22 April 2002)

A rapid, deterministic method (DET) based on a recursive algorithm and a stochastic method based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) for calculating identity-by-descent (IBD) matrices conditional on multiple markers were compared using stochastic simulation. Precision was measured by the mean squared error (MSE) of the relationship coefficients in predicting the true IBD relationships, relative to MSE obtained from using pedigree only. Comparisons were made when varying marker density, allele numbers, allele frequencies, and the size of full-sib families. The precision of DET was 75-99% relative to MCMC, but was not simply related to the informativeness of individual loci. For situations mimicking microsatellite markers or dense SNP, the precision of DET was $\geq 95\%$ relative to MCMC. Relative precision declined for the SNP, but not microsatellites as marker density decreased. Full-sib family size did not affect the precision. The methods were tested in interval mapping and marker assisted selection, and the performance was very largely determined by the MSE. A multi-locus information index considering the type, number, and position of markers was developed to assess precision. It showed a marked empirical relationship with the observed precision for DET and MCMC and explained the complex relationship between relative precision and the informativeness of individual loci.

Key words: IBD / genetic relationship / multiple markers / complex pedigree / information

Correspondence and reprints: Anders Christian Sørensen E-mail:

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2002