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Open Access Research

Mating schemes for optimum contribution selection with constrained rates of inbreeding

Anna K Sonesson* and Theo HE Meuwissen

Author Affiliations

Institute for Animal Science and Health, Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands

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Genetics Selection Evolution 2000, 32:231-248  doi:10.1186/1297-9686-32-3-231

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:13 September 1999
Accepted:21 January 2000
Published:15 May 2000

© 2000 INRA, EDP Sciences


The effect of non-random mating on genetic response was compared for populations with discrete generations. Mating followed a selection step where the average coancestry of selected animals was constrained, while genetic response was maximised. Minimum coancestry (MC), Minimum coancestry with a maximum of one offspring per mating pair (MC1) and Minimum variance of the relationships of offspring (MVRO) mating schemes resulted in a delay in inbreeding of about two generations compared with Random, Random factorial and Compensatory mating. In these breeding schemes where selection constrains the rate of inbreeding, ΔF, the improved family structure due to non-random mating increased genetic response. For schemes with ΔF constrained to 1.0% and 100 selection candidates, genetic response was 22% higher for the MC1 and MVRO schemes compared with Random mating schemes. For schemes with a less stringent constraint on ΔF or more selection candidates, the superiority of the MC1 and MVRO schemes was smaller (5–6%). In general, MC1 seemed to be the preferred mating method, since it almost always yielded the highest genetic response. MC1 mainly achieved these high genetic responses by avoiding extreme relationships among the offspring, i.e. fullsib offspring are avoided, and by making the contributions of ancestors to offspring more equal by mating least related animals.

breeding program; inbreeding; selection; mating; genetic response


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