The Effect of Linkage Disequilibrium and Family Relationships on the Reliability of Genomic Prediction
Although the concept of genomic selection relies on linkage disequilibrium (LD) between quantitative trait loci and markers, reliability of genomic predictions is strongly influenced by family relationships. In this study, we investigated the effects of LD and family relationships on reliability of genomic predictions and the potential of deterministic formulas to predict reliability using population parameters in populations with complex family structures. Five groups of selection candidates were simulated by taking different information sources from the reference population into account: (1) allele frequencies, (2) LD pattern, (3) haplotypes, (4) haploid chromosomes, and (5) individuals from the reference population, thereby having real family relationships with reference individuals. Reliabilities were predicted using genomic relationships among 529 reference individuals and their relationships with selection candidates and with a deterministic formula where the number of effective chromosome segments (Me) was estimated based on genomic and additive relationship matrices for each scenario. At a heritability of 0.6, reliabilities based on genomic relationships were 0.002 ± 0.0001 (allele frequencies), 0.022 ± 0.001 (LD pattern), 0.018 ± 0.001 (haplotypes), 0.100 ± 0.008 (haploid chromosomes), and 0.318 ± 0.077 (family relationships). At a heritability of 0.1, relative differences among groups were similar. For all scenarios, reliabilities were similar to predictions with a deterministic formula using estimated Me. So, reliabilities can be predicted accurately using empirically estimated Me and level of relationship with reference individuals has a much higher effect on the reliability than linkage disequilibrium per se. Furthermore, accumulated length of shared haplotypes is more important in determining the reliability of genomic prediction than the individual shared haplotype length.