Accuracy of genome-wide evaluation for disease resistance in aquaculture breeding programs1 Academic Article uri icon


  • Current aquaculture breeding programs aimed at improving resistance to diseases are based on challenge tests, where performance is recorded on sibs of candidates to selection, and on selection between families. Genome-wide evaluation (GWE) of breeding values offers new opportunities for using variation within families when dealing with such traits. However, up-to-date studies on GWE in aquaculture programs have only considered continuous traits. The objectives of this study were to extend GWE methodology, in particular the Bayes B method, to analyze dichotomous traits such as resistance to disease, and to quantify, through computer simulation, the accuracy of GWE for disease resistance in aquaculture sib-based programs, using the methodology developed. Two heritabilities (0.1 and 0.3) and 2 disease prevalences (0.1 and 0.5) were assumed in the simulations. We followed the threshold liability model, which assumes that there is an underlying variable (liability) with a continuous distribution and assumed a BayesB model for the liabilities. It was shown that the threshold liability model used fits very well with the BayesB model of GWE. The advantage of using the threshold model was clear when dealing with disease resistance dichotomous phenotypes, particularly under the conditions where linear models are less appropriate (low heritability and disease prevalence). In the testing set (where individuals are genotyped but not measured), the increase in accuracy for the simulated schemes when using the threshold model ranged from 4 (for heritability equal to 0.3 and prevalence equal to 0.5) to 16% (for heritability and prevalence equal to 0.1) when compared with the linear model.


  • Villanueva, B
  • Fernández, J
  • García-Cortés, LA
  • Varona, L
  • Daetwyler, HD
  • Toro, MA

publication date

  • November 1, 2011