The main benefit of genomic selection for Australian sheep is to increase the accuracy of hard to measure traits including carcass, adult wool and reproduction traits. A genotyped reference population has been established to measure these traits, and genomic predictions show moderate accuracies, in the range 0.2 – 0.5. Genomically enhanced breeding values for traits in the current evaluation system have been delivered to breeders using the “blending” method to combine genomic predictions with pedigree based estimated breeding values, and for carcass traits using the “single step” method. The goal for genomic evaluation is to move to single step analyses for all traits. One of the challenges is to accommodate breed and strain within breed structure, particularly for animals with unknown pedigree and no data. Marker information can be used to define genetic groups which correlate reasonably well with genetic groups defined from pedigree information.

Andrew A Swan, Daniel Brown, Hans D Daetwyler, Matthew J Kelly, Ben J Hayes, Nasiroddin Moghaddar, Julius HJ van der Werf

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Species Breeding: Sheep and goats, , 334, 2014
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