Oxford University Press (OUP), Journal of Animal Science, 3(87), p. 850-859
In this study the effect of artificial selection on BLUP EBV for production traits on the allele frequencies of a pleiotropic QTL affecting both production and disease susceptibility was investigated. Stochastic simulations were used to model artificial selection on a production trait that is controlled, in part, by a biallelic QTL that also controls susceptibility to disease. The QTL allele increasing production also increased susceptibility to disease. Different modes of action and proportions of variation accounted for by the QTL were assessed for the production trait. The main results indicated that alleles that confer susceptibility to the disease could be maintained in the population over a long period, depending on the mode of action of the QTL. In addition, the results of the study indicate that, under various conditions, it is possible to find pleiotropic QTL that control 2 traits despite these traits appearing to be uncorrelated. Therefore, in practice, an estimate of the genetic correlation between 2 traits may be misleading when the presence of such a QTL exists. The results of this study have implications for breeding programs. For example, if a pleiotropic QTL exists that favors heterozygotes for a production trait, it would be very difficult to remove disease susceptibility alleles via traditional selection methods.