|Title||Value of the Dutch Holstein Friesian germplasm collection to increase genetic variability and improve genetic merit|
|Author(s)||Doekes, H.P.; Veerkamp, R.F.; Bijma, P.; Hiemstra, S.J.; Windig, J.|
|Source||Journal of Dairy Science (2018). - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 1 - 12.|
LR - Animal Breeding & Genomics
Animal Breeding and Genetics
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||conservation - dairy cow - gene bank collection - genetic diversity - genetic improvement|
National gene bank collections for Holstein Friesian (HF) dairy cattle were set up in the 1990s. In this study, we assessed the value of bulls from the Dutch HF germplasm collection, also known as cryobank bulls, to increase genetic variability and improve genetic merit in the current bull population (bulls born in 2010–2015). Genetic variability was defined as 1 minus the mean genomic similarity (SIMSNP) or as 1 minus the mean pedigree-based kinship (fPED). Genetic merit was defined as the mean estimated breeding value for the total merit index or for 1 of 3 subindices (yield, fertility, and udder health). Using optimal contribution selection, we minimized relatedness (maximized variability) or maximized genetic merit at restricted levels of relatedness. We compared breeding schemes with only bulls from 2010 to 2015 with schemes in which cryobank bulls were also included. When we minimized relatedness, inclusion of genotyped cryobank bulls decreased mean SIMSNP by 0.7% and inclusion of both genotyped and nongenotyped cryobank bulls decreased mean fPED by 2.6% (in absolute terms). When we maximized merit at restricted levels of relatedness, inclusion of cryobank bulls provided additional merit at any level of mean SIMSNP or mean fPED except for the total merit index at high levels of mean SIMSNP. Additional merit from cryobank bulls depended on (1) the relative emphasis on genetic variability and (2) the selection criterion. Additional merit was higher when more emphasis was put on genetic variability. For fertility, for example, it was 1.74 SD at a mean SIMSNP restriction of 64.5% and 0.37 SD at a mean SIMSNP restriction of 67.5%. Additional merit was low to nonexistent for the total merit index and higher for the subindices, especially for fertility. At a mean SIMSNP of 64.5%, for example, it was 0.60 SD for the total merit index and 1.74 SD for fertility. In conclusion, Dutch HF cryobank bulls can be used to increase genetic variability and improve genetic merit in the current population, although their value is very limited when selecting for the current total merit index. Anticipating changes in the breeding goal in the future, the germplasm collection is a valuable resource for commercial breeding populations.