Genomic prediction of traits related to canine hip dysplasia

Enrique Sanchez Molano, Ricardo Pong-Wong, Dylan N. Clements, Sarah C. Blott, Pamela Wiener*, John A. Woolliams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increased concern for the welfare of pedigree dogs has led to development of selection programs against inherited diseases. An example is canine hip dysplasia (CHD), which has a moderate heritability and a high prevalence in some large-sized breeds. To date, selection using phenotypes has led to only modest improvement, and alternative strategies such as genomic selection may prove more effective. The primary aims of this study were to compare the performance of pedigree- and genomic-based breeding against CHD in the UK Labrador retriever population and to evaluate the performance of different genomic selection methods. A sample of 1179 Labrador Retrievers evaluated for CHD according to the UK scoring method (hip score, HS) was genotyped with the Illumina CanineHD BeadChip. Twelve functions of HS and its component traits were analyzed using different statistical methods (GBLUP, Bayes C and Single-Step methods), and results were compared with a pedigree-based approach (BLUP) using cross-validation. Genomic methods resulted in similar or higher accuracies than pedigree-based methods with training sets of 944 individuals for all but the untransformed HS, suggesting that genomic selection is an effective strategy. GBLUP and Bayes C gave similar prediction accuracies for HS and related traits, indicating a polygenic architecture. This conclusion was also supported by the low accuracies obtained in additional GBLUP analyses performed using only the SNPs with highest test statistics, also indicating that marker-assisted selection would not be as effective as genomic selection. A Single-Step method that combines genomic and pedigree information also showed higher accuracy than GBLUP and Bayes C for the log-transformed HS, which is currently used for pedigree based evaluations in UK. In conclusion, genomic selection is a promising alternative to pedigree-based selection against CHD, requiring more phenotypes with genomic data to improve further the accuracy of prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00097
JournalFrontiers in genetics
Issue numberFEB
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Dogs
  • Genomic selection
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Labrador retrievers


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