Predicting energy balance for dairy cows using high-density single nucleotide polymorphsim information

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to investigate the genetic basis of energy balance (EB) and the potential use of genomic selection to enable EB to be incorporated into selection programs. Energy balance provides an essential link between production and nonproduction traits because both depend on a common source of energy. A small number (527) of Dutch Holstein-Friesian heifers with phenotypes for EB were genotyped. Direct genomic values were predicted for these heifers using a model that included the genotypic information. A polygenic model was also applied to predict estimated breeding values using only pedigree information. A 10-fold cross-validation approach was employed to assess the accuracies of the 2 sets of predicted breeding values by correlating them with phenotypes. Because of the small number of phenotypes, accuracies were relatively low (0.29 for the direct genomic values and 0.21 for the estimated breeding values), where the maximum possible accuracy was the square root of heritability (0.57). Despite this, the genomic model produced breeding values with reliability double that of the breeding values produced by the polygenic model. To increase the accuracy of the genomic breeding values and make it possible to select for EB, measurement and recording of EB would need to improve. The study suggests that it may be possible to select for minimally recorded traits; for instance, those measured on experimental farms, using genomic selection. Overall, the study demonstrated that genomic selection could be used to select for EB, confirming its genetic background.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2757-2764
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • transcription factor-ii
  • feed-intake
  • coup-tfii
  • reproductive-performance
  • milk-production
  • dry period
  • endocrine parameters
  • genomic selection
  • ovarian-function
  • early lactation


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting energy balance for dairy cows using high-density single nucleotide polymorphsim information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this