Recombination leads to more genetic variation being available for selection. In this paper simulation was used to quantify the effect of increased recombination on the response to selection. The rate of response to selection for a polygenic trait of interest was studied with various scenarios of recombination rate and selection intensity. Increased recombination rate decreased the loss in genetic variance. This facilitated the use of higher selection intensity without increasing the rate of loss in genetic variance. Consequently, the genetic gain was higher for the same proportion of genetic variance lost. However using selection to increase the rate of recombination was challenging. A selection index that placed 30% of its weight recombination rate increased it by 150% after five generations. Much higher increases in recombination rate are required to enable it deliver meaningful increases in the rate of improvement.

Gábor Mészáros, Gregor Gorjanc, Janez Jenko, John A Woolliams, John M Hickey

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Breeding objectives, economics of selection schemes, and advances in selection theory, , 021, 2014
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