Accuracy of Genomic-Polygenic and Polygenic Breeding Values for Age at First Calving and Milk Yield in Thai Multibreed Dairy Cattle

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Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been used in genomic prediction and shown to increase prediction accuracy and selection responses for economic traits in dairy cattle. The successful report in genomic prediction for improving age at first calving (AFC) and 305-d milk yield (MY) in multibreed dairy population is limited. Therefore, the objective of this research was to compare estimates of variance components, genetic parameters, and prediction accuracies for AFC and MY using a genomic-polygenic model (GPM) and a polygenic model (PM). The AFC and MY records of 9,106 first-lactating multibreed dairy cows, calved between 1991 and 2014, were collected from 1,012 Thai dairy farms. The SNP genotyped individuals were selected from cows that had completed pedigree and phenotypes information. The total genomic DNA samples of 2,661 dairy cattle were genotyped using various GeneSeek Genomic Profiler low-density bead chips (9K, 20K, and 80K). The 2-trait GPM and PM contained herd-year-season and heterosis as fixed effects, and animal additive genetic and residual as random effects. Variance components and genetic parameters were estimated using the procedure of average information-restricted maximum likelihood (AI-REML). Estimates of additive genetic variance components and heritabilities from GPM were higher than PM for AFC and MY. Correlations between AFC and MY were near zero for both models. Mean EBV accuracies were higher for GPM (32.95% for AFC and 38.24% for MY) than for PM (32.65% for AFC, and 32.99% for MY). Mean sire EBV accuracies were higher for GPM (31.35% for AFC and 36.25% for MY) than for PM (28.37% for AFC and 28.80% for MY). Thus, the GPM should be considered the model of choice to increase accuracy of genetic predictions for AFC and MY in the Thai multibreed dairy population.

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