Optimal design reference populations

Genomic selection is based on ranking animals on their genomic breeding values. Genomic breeding values are estimated, using a reference population that contains animals with well-known phenotypes and genotypes.

Accuracy of genomic selection directly depends on the relationship between the reference population and selection candidates. The main of this theme is to develop optimal designs of reference populations, such that the prediction accuracy is maximized for a given size of the reference population. This is particularly important for traits that are hard or expensive to measure. Future research will also focus on optimal design of multi-breed reference populations.