What is genomic prediction

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Source: Beef Genomic Prediction Trial

  1. What is Genomic Prediction?

Genomic prediction is a new tool that can predict an animal’s genetic merit based on scoring DNA markers such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). Genomic prediction can predict how an animal’s progeny will perform before the traits are measured or even right after the birth without needing any other information (such as pedigree).

 

  1. How does Genomic Prediction work?

Genomic prediction relies on having a reference population of animals with both DNA markers and performance records of their traits. Genomic Prediction analyzes the relationships between the DNA markers and the traits in a reference animal population to generate a prediction equation. Other animals can then have their DNA analyzed (genotyped) and put into the prediction equation to estimate their genetic merit as a  molecular breeding value (MBV) or molecular expected progeny difference (mEPD) without needing a pedigree or other performance data.

  1. How to genotype selection candidates?

Ear tissue, hair, blood or semen all contain DNA and can be sent to a DNA lab, like Delta Genomics, for DNA analysis and genotyping.

 

  1. What is the accuracy of genomic prediction?

 The accuracy of genomic prediction tells us how reliable the predicted genetic merit is. Accuracy depends on multiple factors including how inheritable the trait is, DNA marker density, the animal numbers in the reference population, and how related the predicted animals are to the reference population.

 

  1. What is the major advantage of genomic prediction?

Genomic prediction can predict genetic merit of an animal as soon as its DNA is analyzed, so practically right after birth, without the need to measure the trait. This is particularly useful for traits that are difficult or expensive to measure such as feed efficiency and for traits that are measured relatively late in an animal’s life and/or can only be measured by sacrificing potential breeding candidates, such as carcass merit traits.

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