Effect of inaccurate parameter estimates on genetic response to marker assisted selection in an outbred population.

R.J. Spelman, J.A.M. van Arendonk

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The effect of inaccurate estimates of variance and of the location of the quantitative trait locus on the genetic response to marker-assisted selection was studied by simulation of an adult multiple ovulation and embryo transfer nucleus breeding scheme. Two genetic models were simulated for the quantitative trait locus: a total of 10 alleles or 2 distinct alleles per base parent. For both models, the locus explained either 5 or 10% of phenotypic variance. A polygenic component was simulated, and the two genetic components were summed to 35% heritability for a trait measured on females. Overestimation of variance of the quantitative trait locus had minimal effect on genetic gain for marker-assisted selection over the short term, but decreased long-term response. The long-term loss was reduced when variance of the quantitative trait locus was reestimated after four generations of marker-assisted selection. Selection for favorable alleles at a nonexistent quantitative trait locus resulted in first generation losses of 3 and 7% for postulated quantitative trait loci, explaining 5 and 10% of variance, respectively. The larger the degree of error in location, the larger was the genetic loss compared with the correct location scenario. For the largest simulated location error of 15 cM, genetic superiority of marker-assisted selection was reduced by 80% in the first generation. We concluded that studies should be undertaken to verify estimates of quantitative trait locus and location to make optimal use of marker-assisted selection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3399-3410
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Breeding scheme
  • Genetic parameter estimates
  • Marker-assisted selection
  • Quantitative trait locus


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