Low coverage whole genome sequencing is a low-cost genotyping technology. Combining with genotype imputation approaches, it is likely to become a critical component of cost-efficient genomic selection programs in agricultural livestock. Here, we used the low-coverage sequence data of 617 Dezhou donkeys to investigate the performance of genotype imputation for low coverage whole genome sequence data and genomic selection based on the imputed genotype data. The specific aims were: (i) to measure the accuracy of genotype imputation under different sequencing depths, sample sizes, MAFs, and imputation pipelines; and (ii) to assess the accuracy of genomic selection under different marker densities derived from the imputed sequence data, different strategies for constructing the genomic relationship matrixes, and single- vs multi-trait models.
We found that a high imputation accuracy (> 0.95) can be achieved for sequence data with sequencing depth as low as 1x and the number of sequenced individuals equal to 400. For genomic selection, the best performance was obtained by using a marker density of 410K and a G matrix constructed using marker dosage information. Multi-trait GBLUP performed better than single-trait GBLUP.
Our study demonstrates that low coverage whole genome sequencing would be a cost-effective method for genomic selection in Dezhou Donkey.