Technical note: adjustment of traditional cow evaluations to improve accuracy of genomic predictions.

Research paper by G R GR Wiggans, T A TA Cooper, P M PM Vanraden, J B JB Cole

Indexed on: 29 Nov '11Published on: 29 Nov '11Published in: Journal of Dairy Science


Genomic evaluations are calculated using deregressed predicted transmitting abilities (PTA) from traditional evaluations to estimate effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms. The direct genomic value (sum of an animal's marker effects) should be consistent with traditional PTA, which is the case for bulls. However, traditional PTA of yield traits (milk, fat, and protein) for genotyped cows are higher than their direct genomic values. To ensure that characteristics of cow PTA for yield traits were more similar to those for bull PTA, mean and variance of cow Mendelian sampling (PTA minus parent average) were adjusted to be similar to those of bulls. The same adjustments were used for all genotyped cows in a breed. To determine gains in reliabilities, predictions were made for bulls with August 2010 evaluations that did not have traditional evaluations in August 2006. By adjusting cow PTA and parent averages of genotyped animals, Holstein and Jersey regressions of August 2010 deregressed PTA on genomic evaluations based on August 2006 data became closer to 1 for the adjusted predictor population compared with the unadjusted predictor population. Evaluation bias was decreased for Holsteins when the predictor population was adjusted. Mean gain in reliability over parent average increased 3.5 percentage points across yield traits for Holsteins and 0.9 percentage points for Jerseys when the predictor population was adjusted. The accuracy of genomic evaluations for Holsteins and Jerseys was increased through better use of information from cows.