Marker-assisted selection based on a multi-trait economic index in chicken: Experimental results and simulation

T. Lahav, G. Atzmon, S. Blum, G. Ben-Ari, S. Weigend, A. Cahaner, U. Lavi, J. Hillel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A method proposed herein allows simultaneous selection for several production traits, taking into consideration their marginal economic values (i.e. the economic value of a trait's additional unit). This economic index-marker assisted selection (EI-MAS) method is based on the calculation of the predicted economic breeding value (BV), using information on DNA markers that have previously been found to be associated with relevant quantitative trait loci. Based on the proposed method, results with real birds showed that sire progeny performance was significantly correlated with expected performance (r = 0.61-0.76; P = 0.03-0.01). Simulation analysis using a computer program written specifically for this purpose suggested that the relative advantage of EI-MAS would be large for traits with low heritability values. As expected, the response to EI-MAS was higher when the map distance between the marker and the quantitative trait gene was small, and vice versa. A large number of distantly located markers, spread 10 cM apart, yielded higher response to selection than a small number of closely located markers spread 3 cM apart. Additionally, the response to EI-MAS was higher when a large number (ca.150) of progeny was used for the prediction equation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-488
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Breeding program
  • Broilers
  • Chicken
  • Computer simulation
  • DNA markers
  • Index selection
  • Marker-assisted selection
  • Microsatellites


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