The objective of this study was to implement single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) for national Angus cattle evaluation in the US. National evaluations include a variety of models with several linear and categorical traits, maternal effects, multibreed data, and a large number of genotyped animals. For the initial investigation, we used a dataset from 2014 that comprised over 8 million animals, 6 million birth weight (BW) and weaning weight (WW) records, 3.4 million post-weaning gain (PWG) records, and genotypes for 52k animals. A dataset from 2017 was later used that included 335k genotyped animals. The ability to predict future performance of young animals was investigated when using regular BLUP and ssGBLUP. Because of the increasing number of genotyped animals and the high computing cost to invert the genomic relationship matrix (G), the algorithm for proven and young (APY) was used to approximate the inverse of G. The APY uses recursions on a small subset of genotyped animals, called core. We further tested the feasibility of having daily interim genomic predictions for newly-genotyped animals based on SNP effects derived from the previous official ssGBLUP evaluation. In addition, we extended all models used in traditional evaluations to ssGBLUP, and compared genetic trends from traditional BLUP, ssGBLUP, and a multistep method that was implemented for the American Angus genomic evaluation in 2009. A new algorithm to approximate accuracy of GEBV for large genomic data was also developed. On average, the increase in ability to predict future performance, for BW, WW, and PWG, with ssGBLUP was 25% in the 2014 data and 36% in the 2017 data, compared to the traditional BLUP. The ssGBLUP with APY was as accurate as the regular ssGBLUP when the number of core animals was at least 10,000, independently of which animals were in the core group. Interim predictions derived from ssGBLUP provided accurate genomic values for newly-genotyped animals. Genetic trends for ssGBLUP and BLUP were similar, revealing overestimation in multistep evaluations, especially for traits with less phenotypes. Single-step GBLUP became a reality for American Angus evaluation and its implementation process resulted in successful updates in methodology, making this approach mature for national beef cattle evaluation. Keywords: algorithm for proven and young, Angus, genomic selection, indirect prediction

Daniela Lourenco, Shogo Tsuruta, Breno Fragomeni, Yutaka Masuda, Ignacio Aguilar, Andrés Legarra, Dan Moser, Stephen Miller, Ignacy Misztal

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Species - Bovine (beef) 1, , 495, 2018
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