Genetic evaluation of sow efficiency traits using single step genomic evaluation methods

Most economically important traits associated with lactation and reproduction in pigs are either less heritable, sex-limited, expressed later in life, or difficult to measure on a routine basis. Genomic predictions using single step best linear unbiased prediction (SSBLUP) methodologies, which utilizes information on phenotypes, pedigree and markers from genotyped and non-genotyped animals simultaneously, is an alternative to phenotype and pedigree based (BLUP) methods. The goal of this project is to develop genome enhanced estimated breeding values (EBVs) for sow reproductive traits using single step methodologies. The objectives are to 1) develop single step EBVs for sow traits associated with lactation and reproduction 2) to estimate the accuracies of prediction using SSBLUP and compare it with the pedigree based estimates and 3) to incorporate single step methodologies into routine genetic evaluations. The overall outcome is to demonstrate and integrate SSBLUP genomic selection methodologies to improve key economic reproductive traits.

Faculty Supervisor:

Graham Plastow


Dinesh Moorkattukara Thekkoot


Genesus Inc.




Life sciences


University of Alberta



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