Genomic selection has been widely implemented in dairy cattle breeding when the aim is to improve performance of purebred animals. In pigs, however, the final product is a crossbred animal. This may affect the efficiency of methods that are currently implemented for dairy cattle. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of predicted breeding values in crossbred pigs using purebred genomic and phenotypic data. A second objective was to compare the predictive ability of SNPs when training is done in either single or multiple populations for four traits: age at first insemination (AFI); total number of piglets born (TNB); litter birth weight (LBW); and litter variation (LVR). We performed marker-based and pedigree-based predictions. Within-population predictions for the four traits ranged from 0.21 to 0.72. Multi-population prediction yielded accuracies ranging from 0.18 to 0.67. Predictions across purebred populations as well as predicting genetic merit of crossbreds from their purebred parental lines for AFI performed poorly (not significantly different from zero). In contrast, accuracies of across-population predictions and accuracies of purebred to crossbred predictions for LBW and LVR ranged from 0.08 to 0.31 and 0.11 to 0.31, respectively. Accuracy for TNB was zero for across-population prediction, whereas for purebred to crossbred prediction it ranged from 0.08 to 0.22. In general, marker-based outperformed pedigree-based prediction across populations and traits. However, in some cases pedigree-based prediction performed similarly or outperformed marker-based prediction. There was predictive ability when purebred populations were used to predict crossbred genetic merit using an additive model in the populations studied. AFI was the only exception, indicating that predictive ability depends largely on the genetic correlation between PB and CB performance, which was 0.31 for AFI. Multi-population prediction was no better than within-population prediction for the purebred validation set. Accuracy of prediction was very trait-dependent.
Marubayashi Hidalgo, A., Bastiaansen, J. W. M., Soares Lopes, M., Harlizius, B., Groenen, M. A. M., & de Koning, D. J. (2015). Accuracy of Predicted Genomic Breeding Values in Purebred and Crossbred Pigs. G3 : Genes Genomes Genetics, 5(8), 1575-1583. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.115.018119