Open Access

A bivariate quantitative genetic model for a linear Gaussian trait and a survival trait

Genetics Selection Evolution200638:45

Received: 20 April 2005

Accepted: 16 September 2005

Published: 15 January 2006


With the increasing use of survival models in animal breeding to address the genetic aspects of mainly longevity of livestock but also disease traits, the need for methods to infer genetic correlations and to do multivariate evaluations of survival traits and other types of traits has become increasingly important. In this study we derived and implemented a bivariate quantitative genetic model for a linear Gaussian and a survival trait that are genetically and environmentally correlated. For the survival trait, we considered the Weibull log-normal animal frailty model. A Bayesian approach using Gibbs sampling was adopted. Model parameters were inferred from their marginal posterior distributions. The required fully conditional posterior distributions were derived and issues on implementation are discussed. The twoWeibull baseline parameters were updated jointly using a Metropolis-Hastingstep. The remaining model parameters with non-normalized fully conditional distributions were updated univariately using adaptive rejection sampling. Simulation results showed that the estimated marginal posterior distributions covered well and placed high density to the true parameter values used in the simulation of data. In conclusion, the proposed method allows inferring additive genetic and environmental correlations, and doing multivariate genetic evaluation of a linear Gaussian trait and a survival trait.


survival Gaussian bivariate genetic Bayesian

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Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Large Animal Sciences, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University
Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006