Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Proceedings and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the 14th European workshop on QTL mapping and marker assisted selection (QTL-MAS)

Open Access Proceedings

Genotype imputation for the prediction of genomic breeding values in non-genotyped and low-density genotyped individuals

Matthew A Cleveland1*, John M Hickey2 and Brian P Kinghorn2

Author Affiliations

1 Genus plc., 100 Bluegrass Commons Blvd., Suite 2200, Hendersonville, TN, 37075, USA

2 School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 3):S6  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S3-S6

Published: 27 May 2011



There is wide interest in calculating genomic breeding values (GEBVs) in livestock using dense, genome-wide SNP data. The general framework for genomic selection assumes all individuals are genotyped at high-density, which may not be true in practice. Methods to add additional genotypes for individuals not genotyped at high density have the potential to increase GEBV accuracy with little or no additional cost. In this study a long haplotype library was created using a long range phasing algorithm and used in combination with segregation analysis to impute dense genotypes for non-genotyped dams in the training dataset (S1) and for non-genotyped or low-density genotyped individuals in the prediction dataset (S2), using the 14th QTL-MAS Workshop dataset. Alternative low-density scenarios were evaluated for accuracy of imputed genotypes and prediction of GEBVs.


In S1, females in the training population were not genotyped and prediction individuals were either not genotyped or genotyped at low-density (evenly spaced at 2, 5 or 10 Mb). The proportion of correctly imputed genotypes for training females did not change when genotypes were added for individuals in the prediction set whereas the number of correctly imputed genotypes in the prediction set increased slightly (S1). The S2 scenario assumed the complete training set was genotyped for all SNPs and the prediction set was not genotyped or genotyped at low-density. The number of correctly imputed genotypes increased with genotyping density in the prediction set. Accuracy of genomic breeding values for the prediction set in each scenario were the correlation of GEBVs with true breeding values and were used to evaluate the potential loss in accuracy with reduced genotyping. For both S1 and S2 the GEBV accuracies were similar when the prediction set was not genotyped and increased with the addition of low-density genotypes, with the increase larger for S2 than S1.


Genotype imputation using a long haplotype library and segregation analysis is promising for application in sparsely-genotyped pedigrees. The results of this study suggest that dense genotypes can be imputed for selection candidates with some loss in genomic breeding value accuracy, but with levels of accuracy higher than traditional BLUP estimated breeding values. Accurate genotype imputation would allow for a single low-density SNP panel to be used across traits.