Hallander J, Waldmann P, Wang CK, Sillanpää MJ
Bayesian inferenceof genetic parameters based on conditional decompositions of multivariate normal distributions
Genetics: 2010 185:645-654

It is widely recognized that the mixed linear model is an important tool for parameter estimation in the analysis of complex pedigrees, which includes both pedigree and genomic information, and where mutually dependent genetic factors are often assumed to follow multivariate normal distributions of high dimension. We have developed a Bayesian statistical method based on the decomposition of the multivariate normal prior distribution into products of conditional univariate distributions. This procedure permits computationally demanding genetic evaluations of complex pedigrees, within the user-friendly computer package WinBUGS. To demonstrate and evaluate the flexibility of the method, we analyzed two example pedigrees: a large noninbred pedigree of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) that includes additive and dominance polygenic relationships and a simulated pedigree where genomic relationships have been calculated on the basis of a dense marker map. The analysis showed that our method was fast and provided accurate estimates and that it should therefore be a helpful tool for estimating genetic parameters of complex pedigrees quickly and reliably.

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