Macciotta, Nicolò Pietro Paolo and Gaspa, Giustino and Steri, Roberto and Nicolazzi, Ezequiel Luis and Dimauro, Corrado and Pieramati, Camillo and Cappio-Borlino, Aldo (2010) Using eigenvalues as variance priors in the prediction of genomic breeding values by principal component analysis. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 93 (6), p. 2765-2774. ISSN 0022-0302. Article.
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Genome-wide selection aims to predict genetic merit of individuals by estimating the effect of chromosome segments on phenotypes using dense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker maps. In the present paper, principal component analysis was used to reduce the number of predictors in the estimation of genomic breeding values for a simulated population. Principal component extraction was carried out either using all markers available or separately for each chromosome. Priors of predictor variance were based on their contribution to the total SNP correlation structure. The principal component approach yielded the same accuracy of predicted genomic breeding values obtained with the regression using SNP genotypes directly, with a reduction in the number of predictors of about 96% and computation time of 99%. Although these accuracies are lower than those currently achieved with Bayesian methods, at least for simulated data, the improved calculation speed together with the possibility of extracting principal components directly on individual chromosomes may represent an interesting option for predicting genomic breeding values in real data with a large number of SNP. The use of phenotypes as dependent variable instead of conventional breeding values resulted in more reliable estimates, thus supporting the current strategies adopted in research programs of genomic selection in livestock.
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