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Genomic selection in American mink (Neovison vison) using a single-step genomic best linear unbiased prediction model for size and quality traits graded on live mink

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Genomic selection relies on single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are often collected using medium-density SNP arrays. In mink, no such array is available; instead, genotyping by sequencing (GBS) can be used to generate marker information. Here, we evaluated the effect of genomic selection for mink using GBS. We compared the estimated breeding values (EBVs) from single-step genomic best linear unbiased prediction (SSGBLUP) models to the EBV from ordinary pedigree-based BLUP models. We analyzed seven size and quality traits from the live grading of brown mink. The phenotype data consisted of ~20,600 records for the seven traits from the mink born between 2013 and 2016. Genotype data included 2,103 mink born between 2010 and 2014, mostly breeding animals. In total, 28,336 SNP markers from 391 scaffolds were available for genomic prediction. The pedigree file included 29,212 mink. The predictive ability was assessed by the correlation (r) between progeny trait deviation (PTD) and EBV, and the regression of PTD on EBV, using 5-fold cross-validation. For each fold, one-fifth of animals born in 2014 formed the validation set. For all traits, the SSGBLUP model resulted in higher accuracies than the BLUP model. The average increase in accuracy was 15% (between 3% for fur clarity and 28% for body weight). For three traits (body weight, silky appearance of the under wool, and guard hair thickness), the difference in r between the two models was significant (P < 0.05). For all traits, the regression slopes of PTD on EBV from SSGBLUP models were closer to 1 than regression slopes from BLUP models, indicating SSGBLUP models resulted in less bias of EBV for selection candidates than the BLUP models. However, the regression coefficients did not differ significantly. In conclusion, the SSGBLUP model is superior to conventional BLUP model in the accurate selection of superior animals, and, thus, it would increase genetic gain in a selective breeding program. In addition, this study shows that GBS data work well in genomic prediction in mink, demonstrating the potential of GBS for genomic selection in livestock species.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberskab003
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

    Research areas

  • Neovison vison, genomic selection, genotyping-by-sequencing, live quality traits

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