Evaluation of Optimum Genetic Contribution Theory to Control Inbreeding While Maximizing Genetic Response

  • Oh, S.H. (North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University)
  • Received : 2011.09.05
  • Accepted : 2012.01.09
  • Published : 2012.03.01


Inbreeding is the mating of relatives that produce progeny having more homozygous alleles than non-inbred animals. Inbreeding increases numbers of recessive alleles, which is often associated with decreased performance known as inbreeding depression. The magnitude of inbreeding depression depends on the level of inbreeding in the animal. Level of inbreeding is expressed by the inbreeding coefficient. One breeding goal in livestock is uniform productivity while maintaining acceptable inbreeding levels, especially keeping inbreeding less than 20%. However, in closed herds without the introduction of new genetic sources high levels of inbreeding over time are unavoidable. One method that increases selection response and minimizes inbreeding is selection of individuals by weighting estimated breeding values with average relationships among individuals. Optimum genetic contribution theory (OGC) uses relationships among individuals as weighting factors. The algorithm is as follows: i) Identify the individual having the best EBV; ii) Calculate average relationships ($\bar{r_j}$) between selected and candidates; iii) Select the individual having the best EBV adjusted for average relationships using the weighting factor k, $EBV^*=EBV_j(1-k\bar{{r}_j})$ Repeat process until the number of individuals selected equals number required. The objective of this study was to compare simulated results based on OGC selection under different conditions over 30 generations. Individuals (n = 110) were generated for the base population with pseudo random numbers of N~ (0, 3), ten were assumed male, and the remainder female. Each male was mated to ten females, and every female was assumed to have 5 progeny resulting in 500 individuals in the following generation. Results showed the OGC algorithm effectively controlled inbreeding and maintained consistent increases in selection response. Difference in breeding values between selection with OGC algorithm and by EBV only was 8%, however, rate of inbreeding was controlled by 47% after 20 generation. These results indicate that the OGC algorithm can be used effectively in long-term selection programs.


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