Predicting heterosis for crossbred offspring of individual sires would harness variation between sires from the same pure-line, and can increase the utilization of heterosis in crossbreeding schemes. We aimed to derive the theoretical expectation for heterosis in crossbred offspring of individual sires, and then predict heterosis for these offspring. We used 60K SNP-genotypes from 3427 sires, allele frequencies from 9 pure-lines, and egg number records from 16 crosses between those lines, representing 210,000 crossbred hens. Results show that it is possible to predict heterosis at the sire level, thereby distinguishing between sires within the same pure-line whose offspring will show higher heterosis. However, variation in predicted heterosis between sires within a line was low in our data; most differences were seen between lines. A potential improvement of the method would be to base predictions on a subset of SNPs with identified effects on heterosis. 

Esinam N Amuzu-Aweh, Henk Bovenhuis, Dirk-Jan de Koning, Piter Bijma

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Selection using molecular information, , 059, 2014
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