For genomic selection to be successful, there must be sufficient linkage disequilibrium between the markers and the causal mutations. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the extent of LD in ovine using the Santa Inês breed and to infer the minimum number of markers required to reach reasonable prediction accuracy. In total, 38,168 SNPs and 395 samples were used. The mean LD between adjacent marker pairs measured by r2 and |D′| were 0.166 and 0.617, respectively. LD values between adjacent marker pairs ranged from 0.135 to 0.194 and from 0.568 to 0.650 for r2 for |D′| across all chromosomes. The average r2 between all pairwise SNPs on each chromosome was 0.018. SNPs separated by between 0.10 to 0.20 Mb had an estimated average r2 equal to 0.1033. The identified haplotype blocks consisted of 2 to 21 markers. Moreover, estimates of average coefficients of inbreeding and effective population size were 0.04 and 96, respectively. LD estimated in this study was lower than that reported in other species and was characterized by short haplotype blocks. Our results suggest that the use of a higher density SNP panel is recommended for the implementation of genomic selection in the Santa Inês breed.
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