Sire-based genomic prediction of heterosis in White Leghorn crossbreds

E.N.Y. Amuzu, H. Bovenhuis, D.J. de Koning, P. Bijma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic


Reliable methods for predicting heterosis will improve the efficiency of crossbreeding schemes by reducing their dependency on tedious and expensive field-tests of multiple pure-line combinations. Heterosis has been predicted at the population level, but this concept could be extended by predicting heterosis for individual sires. This would quantify genetic variation between sires from the same pure-line, and can increase heterosis in crossbred populations. We aimed to derive the theoretical expectation for heterosis due to dominance in crossbred offspring of individual sires, then predict heterosis for these offspring. We used 60K SNP genotypes from 3,427 sires, allele frequencies from 9 pure-lines, and egg production records from 16 crosses between those lines, representing ~210,000 crossbred hens. We derived the expected heterosis due to dominance for offspring of a specific sire, which is a function of the within- and between-line difference in allele frequency between the sire and the dam-line that they are mated to. Next, we estimated heterosis by regressing offspring performance on this function of allele frequencies. Results show that it is possible to predict heterosis at the sire level, thus distinguishing between sires within the same pure-line whose offspring will show different levels of heterosis. However, the within-line variance in heterosis among sires was low (0.72%) compared to between-line variance (99%). This study was based on an average genome-wide function of allele frequencies. In a preliminary analysis where we used a subset of SNPs with a putative effect on heterosis, we observed a larger variation in heterosis among sires. We conclude that based on a dominance model, it is possible to identify specific sires whose offspring are expected to have relatively higher levels of heterosis than others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 65th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP)
Place of PublicationWageningen, The Netherlands
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Print)9789086862481
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventEAAP - 65th Annual Meeting 2014 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 25 Aug 201428 Aug 2014


ConferenceEAAP - 65th Annual Meeting 2014
OtherBest oral presentation done by a young scientist

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    Amuzu, E. N. Y., Bovenhuis, H., de Koning, D. J., & Bijma, P. (2014). Sire-based genomic prediction of heterosis in White Leghorn crossbreds. In Book of Abstracts of the 65th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) (Vol. 20, pp. 218-218). Wageningen Academic Publishers.