Open Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 40, Number 1, January-February 2008
Page(s) 91 - 102
Published online 21 December 2007
Genet. Sel. Evol. 40 (2008) 91-102
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2007036

Estimation by simulation of the efficiency of the French marker-assisted selection program in dairy cattle (Open Access publication)

François Guillaume1, 2, Sébastien Fritz3, Didier Boichard1 and Tom Druet1

1  INRA, UR337 Station de génétique quantitative et appliquée, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France
2  Institut de l'élevage, 149 rue de Bercy, 75595 Paris Cedex 12, France
3  Union nationale des coopératives d'élevage et d'insémination animale, 149 rue de Bercy, 75595 Paris Cedex 12, France

(Received 19 January 2007; accepted 3 September 2007 ; published online 21 December 2007)

Abstract - The efficiency of the French marker-assisted selection (MAS) was estimated by a simulation study. The data files of two different time periods were used: April 2004 and 2006. The simulation method used the structure of the existing French MAS: same pedigree, same marker genotypes and same animals with records.The program simulated breeding values and new records based on this existing structure and knowledge on the QTL used in MAS (variance and frequency). Reliabilities of genetic values of young animals (less than one year old) obtained with and without marker information were compared to assess the efficiency of MAS for evaluation of milk, fat and protein yields and fat and protein contents. Mean gains of reliability ranged from 0.015 to 0.094 and from 0.038 to 0.114 in 2004 and 2006, respectively. The larger number of animals genotyped and the use of a new set of genetic markers can explain the improvement of MAS reliability from 2004 to 2006. This improvement was also observed by analysis of information content for young candidates. The gain of MAS reliability with respect to classical selection was larger for sons of sires with genotyped progeny daughters with records. Finally, it was shown that when superiority of MAS over classical selection was estimated with daughter yield deviations obtained after progeny test instead of true breeding values, the gain was underestimated.

Key words: marker-assisted selection / simulation / efficiency / dairy cattle

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2008