The effectiveness of genomic selection for milk production traits of Holstein dairy cattle

  • Lee, Yun-Mi (Department of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University) ;
  • Dang, Chang-Gwon (Division of Animal Breeding and Genetics, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Alam, Mohammad Z. (Department of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University) ;
  • Kim, You-Sam (Department of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University) ;
  • Cho, Kwang-Hyeon (Korea National College of Agriculture and Fisheries) ;
  • Park, Kyung-Do (Department of Animal Biotechnology, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Kim, Jong-Joo (Department of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University)
  • Received : 2019.07.05
  • Accepted : 2019.11.25
  • Published : 2020.03.01


Objective: This study was conducted to test the efficiency of genomic selection for milk production traits in a Korean Holstein cattle population. Methods: A total of 506,481 milk production records from 293,855 animals (2,090 heads with single nucleotide polymorphism information) were used to estimate breeding value by single step best linear unbiased prediction. Results: The heritability estimates for milk, fat, and protein yields in the first parity were 0.28, 0.26, and 0.23, respectively. As the parity increased, the heritability decreased for all milk production traits. The estimated generation intervals of sire for the production of bulls (LSB) and that for the production of cows (LSC) were 7.9 and 8.1 years, respectively, and the estimated generation intervals of dams for the production of bulls (LDB) and cows (LDC) were 4.9 and 4.2 years, respectively. In the overall data set, the reliability of genomic estimated breeding value (GEBV) increased by 9% on average over that of estimated breeding value (EBV), and increased by 7% in cows with test records, about 4% in bulls with progeny records, and 13% in heifers without test records. The difference in the reliability between GEBV and EBV was especially significant for the data from young bulls, i.e. 17% on average for milk (39% vs 22%), fat (39% vs 22%), and protein (37% vs 22%) yields, respectively. When selected for the milk yield using GEBV, the genetic gain increased about 7.1% over the gain with the EBV in the cows with test records, and by 2.9% in bulls with progeny records, while the genetic gain increased by about 24.2% in heifers without test records and by 35% in young bulls without progeny records. Conclusion: More genetic gains can be expected through the use of GEBV than EBV, and genomic selection was more effective in the selection of young bulls and heifers without test records.


Supported by : Rural Development Administration


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