Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Breeding: estimated breeding values

Synonym(s): EBVs

Contributor(s): Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, Tom Lewis

Introduction

  • Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are a resource that has been commonly used in livestock breeding for many years. An EBV is a calculation (based on phenotypic and pedigree data) that estimates the genetic merit of the phenotype in all individuals listed in the pedigree. When the phenotype is clinical data, the EBV represents a genetic risk of complex disease.
  • Recently, EBVs have been developed for a number of conditions in the dog, particularly for hip and elbow dysplasia. Using EBVs to make mating decisions is more accurate than using the observed clinical data, or “score”, and will lead to faster progress in reducing the prevalence of disease. The reason for this is that only genetics is inherited, yet complex traits are a mix of both genetics and environment. Therefore, an estimate of genetic merit is a more accurate indicator of genetics than the phenotype itself. For example, a dog with a poor hip score due to trauma - it may be that the underlying genetics is good, but that poor environment has resulted in a high hip score. This is how the improvement in accuracy of selection (identification of breeding animals with the best genetics) is achieved.
  • Within the UK, The Kennel Club has developed Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for hip and elbow dysplasia across a number of breeds:
  • These EBVs utilize the data generated from the BVA/KC hip and elbow scheme, and are freely available for Kennel Club registered dogs (where an EBV is in place). These EBVs indicate the genetic risk of hip/elbow dysplasia for individual dogs relative to the entire breed**. Owners can use the EBVs to determine which breeding animals have a higher or lower genetic risk than breed average, and more accurately indicate any genetic risks to offspring/progeny.
  • **The breed mean (of animals born in the last decade) is set to zero. A negative value indicates lower risk , and a higher value, a higher risk. The standard deviation of the breed (born in last decade) is scaled to +/-20. Therefore a dog with an EBV of -20 has a genetic risk in the lowest 16% of the breed.
Print off the owner factsheet on Estimated breeding values Estimated breeding values to give to your client.

Available EBVs

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Uses of EBVs

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Limitations of EBVs

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Lappalainen A K, Mäki K, Laitinen-Vapaavuori O (2015) Estimate of heritability and genetic trend of intervertebral disc calcification in Dachshunds in Finland. Acta Vet Scand 57, 78 PubMed. 
  • Soo M, Sneddon N W, Lopez-Villalobos N, Worth A J (2015) Genetic evaluation of the total hip score of four populous breeds of dog, as recorded by the New Zealand Veterinary Association Hip Dysplasia Scheme (1991-2011). N Z Vet J 63(2), 79-85 PubMed
  • Soo M, Worth A (2015) Canine hip dysplasia: phenotypic scoring and the role of estimated breeding value analysis. N Z Vet J  63(2), 69-78 PubMed
  • Lewis T W, Blott S C, Woolliams J A (2013) Comparative analyses of genetic trends and prospects for selection against hip and elbow dysplasia in 15 UK dog breeds.  BMC Genet 14, 16 PubMed.
  • Lewis T W, Blott S C, Woolliams J A (2010) Genetic evaluation of hip score in UK Labrador Retrievers. PLoS One 5(10), e12797 PubMed.  

Other sources of information


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