Estimation of accuracies and expected genetic change from selection for selection indexes that use multiple-trait predictions of breeding values

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Procedures are described for estimating selection index accuracies for individual animals and expected genetic change from selection for the general case where indexes of EBVs predict an aggregate breeding objective of traits that may or may not have been measured. Index accuracies for the breeding objective are shown to take an important general form, being able to be expressed as the product of the accuracy of the index function of true breeding values and the accuracy with which that function predicts the breeding objective. When the accuracies of the individual EBVs of the index are known, prediction error variances (PEVs) and covariances (PECs) for the EBVs within animal are able to be well approximated, and index accuracies and expected genetic change from selection estimated with high accuracy. The procedures are suited to routine use in estimating index accuracies in genetic evaluation, and for providing important information, without additional modelling, on the directions in which a population will move under selection.

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