This study assessed the gain of genomic prediction accuracy when including US Jersey bulls in the Danish Jersey reference population. The data included 1,262 Danish progeny-tested bulls and 1,157 US progeny-tested bulls. Genomic breeding values (GEBV) were predicted using a GBLUP model from the Danish reference and the joint Danish-US reference population. Eight of nine traits in this study benefitted from the inclusion of US bulls in the reference population. The gains ranged from 1.6% points for fertility to 12.5% points for udder conformation, except for longevity. Averaged over nine traits, reliability of GEBV using the joint reference population was 4.0% points higher than using the Danish reference population alone. The results confirm that exchanging reference data to increase reference population size is an efficient approach to increase accuracy of genomic prediction, especially for the populations with small number of reference bulls.

Guosheng Su, Ulrik S Nielsen, George R Wiggans, Gert P Aamand, Bernt Guldbrandtsen, Mogens Sandø Lund

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Selection using molecular information, , 060, 2014
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