Single-step methodology for genomic evaluation in turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)

Abdalla, Emhimad; Schenkel, Flavio S.; Emamgholi-Begli, Hakimeh; Willems, Owen; Van As, Pieter; Vanderhout, Ryley; Wood, Ben J.; Baes, Christine F. (2019). Single-step methodology for genomic evaluation in turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). Frontiers in genetics, 10(1248), p. 1248. Frontiers Media SA 10.3389/fgene.2019.01248

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Genomic information can contribute significantly to the increase in accuracy of genetic predictions compared to using pedigree relationships alone. The main objective of this study was to compare the prediction ability of pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction (PBLUP) and single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) models. Turkey records of feed conversion ratio, residual feed intake, body weight, breast meat yield, and walking ability were provided by Hybrid Turkeys, Kitchener, Canada. This data was analyzed using pedigree-based and single-step genomic models. The genomic relationship matrix was calculated either using observed allele frequencies, all allele frequencies equal to 0.5 or with a different scaling. To avoid potential problems with inversion, three different weighting factors were applied to combine the genomic and pedigree matrices. Across the studied traits, ssGBLUP had higher heritability estimates and significantly outperformed PBLUP in terms of accuracy. Walking ability was genetically negatively correlated to body weight and breast meat yield; however, it was not correlated to FCR or RFI. Body weight showed a moderate positive genetic correlation to feed conversion ratio, residual feed intake and breast meat yield. Feed conversion ratio was strongly correlated to residual feed intake (0.68±0.06). There was almost no genetic correlation between breast meat yield and feed efficiency traits. Larger differences in accuracy between PBLUP and ssGBLUP were observed for traits with lower heritability. Results of the three weighting factors showed only slight differences and an increase in accuracy of prediction compared to PBLUP. Slightly different levels of bias were observed across the models, but were higher among the traits; BMY was the only trait that had a regression coefficient higher than 1 (1.38 to 1.41). We show that incorporating genomic information increases the prediction accuracy for preselection of young candidate turkeys for the five traits investigated. Single-step genomic prediction showed substantially higher accuracy estimates than the pedigree-based model, and only slight differences in bias were observed across the alternate models.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Baes, Christine Francoise


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




Frontiers Media SA




Christine Francoise Baes

Date Deposited:

05 Aug 2020 07:45

Last Modified:

09 Mar 2021 23:33

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