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Experimental study of the influence of errors of genetic correlation estimates on unrestricted, optimum, and desired gains selection indices

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Effects of errors in estimates of the genetic correlation on the accuracy of unrestricted, optimum, and desired gains selection indices were examined experimentally in Tribolium castaneum. Three lines were selected for three generations for pupal weight at 21 days and adult weight at 31 days, using unrestricted (I9), optimum (O9), and desired gains (G9) index selection methods. The genetic correlation between pupal and adult weights in the base population was 0.95. The optimum index was designed to set the response of pupal weight by a fixed amount, while in the desired gains index the responses of pupal and adult weights were specified as being equal to 3∶1. Three other indices were constructed using a deliberately incorrect genetic correlation (0.25), i.e., unrestricted (I2), optimum (O2), and desired gains (G2). Responses observed in unrestricted index lines (I9 versus I2) and optimum index lines (O9 versus O2) did not differ significantly, even though lines I9 and I2 differed in a practical sense. Responses in desired gains index lines (G9 versus G2) differed significantly. Responses obtained for aggregate genotype (pupal weight + adult weight) and for the component traits were greater in line I9 than those obtained in line I2. Responses obtained in the O9 and O2 lines for pupal and adult weights were similar, while those obtained in the G9 and G2 lines were similar for pupal weight but not (P<0.05) for adult weight. Therefore, underestimation of the genetic correlation seems to affect the efficiency of a desired gains index more than that of unrestricted or optimum indices.

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Communicated by K. Sittmann

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Campo, J.L., Velasco, T. Experimental study of the influence of errors of genetic correlation estimates on unrestricted, optimum, and desired gains selection indices. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 77, 561–567 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00274280

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Key words

  • Estimation errors
  • Genetic correlation
  • Unrestricted index
  • Restricted index
  • Tribolium