A Single Step Towards Better Estimation of Breeding Value

Hypor introduced a new model in estimating breeding value that enhances the accuracy of our performance predictors globally. Complex statistical modeling has always been required to turn data on our pigs’ performance into predictions for their capacity to pass this performance on to their offspring.

In other words, to assess their Breeding Value. 


Abe Huisman

Job title: Director R&D
Drive: Solving the puzzle.      
Life slogan: All will be fine.

BLUP & Single Step

For many years, Hypor has relied on Best Linear Unbiased Prediction, or the BLUP model. However, as our knowledge on pig genetics increases, and a great deal of genomic data has become available from our animals, it has become much more important to incorporate this into the equation. Following development of new modeling strategies, Hypor has adopted Single Step Genomic Best Linear Unbiased Predictions (ssGBLUP) to enhance its calculations. 

“Traditional modeling methods use multiple steps, where estimation of traditional breeding values, genomic breeding values and the effects of specific genetic differences are worked out separately and then blended together to create a combined breeding value,” explained Bram Bronsvoort, Hypor’s Junior Geneticist. “ssGBLUP enables a better estimation of the genetic relations between animals, before this was based on averages. (i.e. the relation between full brothers is 50% on average, but the relation between full brothers can vary around this 50%.)”

Genomic information makes it possible to get a more exact measurement of these genetic relations which results in more accurate assessment of breeding values and makes it able to use genomic information of relatives for estimation of breeding values for individuals. Also it makes it able to use genomic information of relatives for estimate and use genomic information of relatives for estimation of breeding values for individuals on of breeding values for individuals. 
ssGBLUP has been developed and tested by international researchers in animal breeding over the last few years starting around 2010 (Misztal).  

Hypor carries out in-depth reviews of the quantitative tools used to estimate breeding values on a regular basis to ensure that they deliver the highest level of accuracy possible, and ultimately, an improved rate of genetic progress. While implementing the ssGBLUP modeling has required a significant investment from Hypor, the collection of data from our farms continues as it has done for the last years. However, the benefits in enhanced accuracy in calculating breeding value are set to benefit our customers for generations ahead.  

“The ssGBLUP method uses Phenotypic and genomic information to build a combined relationship matrix, enabling us to more accurate predictions for all our animals,” added Bram. “It is anticipated to enhance the accuracy of our breeding values by 20%-50% and increase genetic progress.”  

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