The large number of markers available compared with phenotypes represents one of the main issues in genomic selection. In this work, principal component analysis was used to reduce the number of predictors for calculating genomic breeding values (GEBV). Bulls of 2 cattle breeds farmed in Italy (634 Brown and 469 Simmental) were genotyped with the 54K Illumina beadchip (Illumina Inc., San Diego, CA). After data editing, 37,254 and 40,179 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were retained for Brown and Simmental, respectively. Principal component analysis carried out on the SNP genotype matrix extracted 2,257 and 3,596 new variables in the 2 breeds, respectively. Bulls were sorted by birth year to create reference and prediction populations. The effect of principal components on deregressed proofs in reference animals was estimated with a BLUP model. Results were compared with those obtained by using SNP genotypes as predictors with either the BLUP or Bayes_A method. Traits considered were milk, fat, and protein yields, fat and protein percentages, and somatic cell score. The GEBV were obtained for prediction population by blending direct genomic prediction and pedigree indexes. No substantial differences were observed in squared correlations between GEBV and EBV in prediction animals between the 3 methods in the 2 breeds. The principal component analysis method allowed for a reduction of about 90% in the number of independent variables when predicting direct genomic values, with a substantial decrease in calculation time and without loss of accuracy.
- genomic selection