Short communication: Calculating analytical reliabilities for single-step predictions

C. Edel, E. C.G. Pimentel, M. Erbe, R. Emmerling, K. U. Götz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


It has been shown that single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) can be reformulated, resulting in an equivalent SNP model that includes the explicit imputation of gene contents of all ungenotyped animals in the pedigree. This reformulation reveals the underlying mechanism enabling ungenotyped animals to contribute information to genotyped animals via estimates of marker effects and consequently to the reliability of genomic predictions, a key feature generally associated with the single-step approach. Irrespective of which BLUP formulation is used for genomic prediction, with increasing numbers of genotyped animals, the marker-oriented model is recommended when calculating the reliabilities of genomic predictions. This approach has the advantage of a manageable and stable size of the model matrix that needs to be inverted to calculate analytical prediction error variances of marker effects, an advantage that also holds for prediction with the single-step model. However, when including imputed genotypes in the design matrix of marker effects, an additional imputation residual term has to be considered to account for the prediction error of imputation. We summarize some of the theoretical aspects associated with the calculation of analytical reliabilities of single-step predictions. Derivations are based on the equivalent reformulation of ssGBLUP as a marker-oriented model and the calculation of prediction error variances of marker effects. We propose 2 approximations that allow for a substantial reduction of the complexity of the matrix operations involved, while retaining most of the relevant information required for reliability calculations. We additionally provide a general framework for an implementation of single-step reliability approximation using standard animal model reliabilities as a starting point. Finally, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach using a small example extracted from data of the routine evaluation on dual-purpose Fleckvieh (Simmental) cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3259-3265
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • genomic breeding value
  • genotype imputation
  • reliability approximation
  • single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP)


Dive into the research topics of 'Short communication: Calculating analytical reliabilities for single-step predictions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this