Partition of the genetic trend of French dairy sheep in Mendelian samplings and long-term contributions: Partitioning genetic trends in dairy sheep

S. Antonios*, A. Legarra, Ricardo Pong-Wong, J.M. Astruc, S.T. Rodríguez-Ramilo, Z.G. Vitezica

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The genetic trend of milk yield for 4 French dairy sheep breeds (Lacaune, Basco-Béarnaise, Manech Tête Noire, and Manech Tête Rousse) was partitioned in Mendelian sampling trends by categories of animals defined by sex and by selection pathways. Five categories were defined, as follows: (1) artificial insemination (AI) males (after progeny testing), (2) males discarded after progeny testing, (3) natural mating males, (4) dams of males, and (5) dams of females. Dams of males and AI males were the most important sources of genetic progress, as observed in the decomposition in Mendelian sampling trends. The yearly contributions were more erratic for AI males than for dams of males, as AI males are averaged across a smaller number of individuals. Natural mating males and discarded males did not contribute to the trend in terms of Mendelian sampling, as their estimated Mendelian sampling term is either null (natural mating males) or negative (discarded males). Overall, in terms of Mendelian sampling, females contributed more than males to the total genetic gain, and we interpret that this is because females constitute a larger pool of genetic diversity. In addition, we computed long-term contributions from each individual to the following pseudo-generations (one pseudo-generation spanning 4 years). With this information, we studied the selection decisions (selected or not selected) for females, and the contributions to the following generations. Mendelian sampling was more important than parent average to determine the selection of individuals and their long-term contributions. Long-term contributions were greater for AI males (with larger progeny sizes than females) and in Basco-Béarnaise than in Lacaune (with the latter being a larger population).

Original languageEnglish
Article number106
Pages (from-to)6275-6287
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume106
Issue number9
Early online date5 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • genetic gain
  • genetic trend
  • Mendelian sampling
  • long-term contributions
  • dairy sheep
  • selection scheme

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