In livestock improvement breeders must always consider several traits, both in defining breeding objectives and in choosing crite ria on which to base selection. It has long been established (HAZEL and LUSH, 19**2) that the most efficient method of selection under these conditions is the use of a selection index. If selection decisions must be made sequentially, they should be made at each stage on an index combining a ll information available at the time (YOUNG, 1964). Properties of the selection index method under varying sets of assumptions have been discussed by HENDERSON (1963). In brief, a selection index gives maximum correlation between estimated and true breeding values, and for normal distributions maximises the probability of choosing the better of any two animals, and consequently maximises the response to selection. These properties are clearly sufficient to make index selection attractive to the breeder.

J. W James

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 5. Plenary sessions, , 130–139, 1982
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