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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the 12th European workshop on QTL mapping and marker assisted selection

Open Access Proceedings

Bayesian genomic selection: the effect of haplotype length and priors

Trine Michelle Villumsen12* and Luc Janss1

Author Affiliations

1 University of Aarhus, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Genetics & Biotechnology, Research Centre Foulum. DK-8830, Box 50, Tjele, Denmark

2 University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Large Animal Sciences, 1870 Frb. C., Denmark

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BMC Proceedings 2009, 3(Suppl 1):S11  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-3-S1-S11

Published: 23 February 2009


Breeding values for animals with marker data are estimated using a genomic selection approach where data is analyzed using Bayesian multi-marker association models. Fourteen model scenarios with varying haplotype lengths, hyper parameter and prior distributions were compared to find the scenario expected to give the most correct genomic estimated breeding values for animals with marker information only. Five-fold cross validation was performed to assess the ability of models to estimate breeding values for animals in generation 3. In each of the five subsets, 20% of phenotypic records in generation 3 were left out. Correlations between breeding values estimated on full data and on subsets for the "leave-out" animals varied between 0.77–0.99. Regression coefficients of breeding values from full data on breeding values from subsets ranged from 0.78–1.01. Single-SNP marker models didn't perform well. Correlations were 0.77–0.89 and predicted breeding values were biased. In addition the models seemed to over fit the genomic part of the variation. Highest correlations and most unbiased results were obtained when SNP markers were joined into haplotypes. Especially the scenarios with 5-SNP haplotypes gave promising results (distance between adjacent SNPs is 0.1 cM evenly over the genome). All correlations were 0.99 and regression coefficients were 0.99–1.01. Models with 5-SNP markers seemed robust to hyper parameter and prior changes. Haplotypes up to 40 SNPs also gave good results. However, longer haplotypes are expected to have less predictive ability over several generations and therefore the 5-SNP haplotypes are expected to give the best predictions for generations 4–6.