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In Frontiers in genetics ; h5-index 62.0

This research assessed the ability of a Support Vector Machine (SVM) regression model to predict pig crossbred (CB) performance from various sources of phenotypic and genotypic information for improving crossbreeding performance at reduced genotyping cost. Data consisted of average daily gain (ADG) and residual feed intake (RFI) records and genotypes of 5,708 purebred (PB) boars and 5,007 CB pigs. Prediction models were fitted using individual PB genotypes and phenotypes (trn.1); genotypes of PB sires and average of CB records per PB sire (trn.2); and individual CB genotypes and phenotypes (trn.3). The average of CB offspring records was the trait to be predicted from PB sire's genotype using cross-validation. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were ranked based on the Spearman Rank correlation with the trait. Subsets with an increasing number (from 50 to 2,000) of the most informative SNPs were used as predictor variables in SVM. Prediction performance was the median of the Spearman correlation (SC, interquartile range in brackets) between observed and predicted phenotypes in the testing set. The best predictive performances were obtained when sire phenotypic information was included in trn.1 (0.22 [0.03] for RFI with SVM and 250 SNPs, and 0.12 [0.05] for ADG with SVM and 500-1,000 SNPs) or when trn.3 was used (0.29 [0.16] with Genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) for RFI, and 0.15 [0.09] for ADG with just 50 SNPs). Animals from the last two generations were assigned to the testing set and remaining animals to the training set. Individual's PB own phenotype and genotype improved the prediction ability of CB offspring of young animals for ADG but not for RFI. The highest SC was 0.34 [0.21] and 0.36 [0.22] for RFI and ADG, respectively, with SVM and 50 SNPs. Predictive performance using CB data for training leads to a SC of 0.34 [0.19] with GBLUP and 0.28 [0.18] with SVM and 250 SNPs for RFI and 0.34 [0.15] with SVM and 500 SNPs for ADG. Results suggest that PB candidates could be evaluated for CB performance with SVM and low-density SNP chip panels after collecting their own RFI or ADG performances or even earlier, after being genotyped using a reference population of CB animals.

Tusell Llibertat, Bergsma Rob, Gilbert Hélène, Gianola Daniel, Piles Miriam


crossbred, genomic prediction, machine learning, pigs, single nucleotide polymorphism, support vector machine