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Simulation study on the efficiencies of MOET nucleus breeding schemes applying marker assisted selection in dairy cattle

Keywords: dairy cattle,marker-assisted selection,two-stage selection,MOET,QTL

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Advantages of breeding schemes using genetic marker information and/or multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) technology over the traditional approach were extensively evaluated through simulation. Milk yield was the trait of interest and QTL was the genetic marker utilized. Eight dairy cattle breeding scenarios were considered, i.e., traditional progeny testing breeding scheme (denoted as STANPT), GASPT scheme including a pre-selection of young bulls entering progeny testing based on their own QTL information, MOETPT scheme using MOET technology to generate young bulls and a selection of young bulls limited within the full-sib family, GAMOPT scheme adopting both QTL pre-selection and MOET technology, COMBPT scheme using a mixed linear model which considered QTL genotype instead of the BLUP model in GAMOPT, and three non-progeny testing schemes, i.e. the MOET, GAMO and COMB schemes, corresponding to MOETPT, GAMOPT and COMBPT with progeny testing being part of the system. Animals were selected based on their breeding value which was estimated under an animal model framework. Sequential selection over 17 years was performed in the simulations and 30 replicates were designed for each scenario. The influences of using QTL information and MOET technology on favorable QTL allele frequency, true breeding values, polygenetic breeding values and the accumulated genetic superiority were extensively evaluated, for five different populations including active sires, lactating cows, bull dams, bull sires, and young bulls. The results showed that the combined schemes significantly outperformed other approaches wherein accumulated true breeding value progressed. The difference between schemes exclusively using QTL information or MOET technology was not significant. The STANPT scheme was the least efficient among the 8 schemes. The schemes using MOET technology had a higher polygenetic response than others in the 17th year. The increases of frequency of the favorable QTL allele varied more greatly across the 3 male groups than in the lactating cows group. The accumulated genetic superiorities of the GASPT scheme, MOETPT scheme, GAMOPT scheme, COMBPT scheme, MOET scheme, GAMO scheme and COMB scheme over the STANPT scheme were 8.42%, 3.59%, 14.58%, 18.54%, 4.12%, 14.12%, 16.50% in active sires and 2.70%, 5.00%, 11.05%, 12.78%, 7.51%, 17.12%, 25.38% in lactating cows. Supported by Key Project for Introducing Advanced International Agriculture Science & Technologies (Grant No. 2006-G48), the National Key Basic Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2006CB102107) and National Key Technology Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2006BAD04A01).


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