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Inbreeding control in livestock animals using genomic information

Project: Research

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My PhD project will resolve a major problem in livestock breeding: there are no effective methods that use genomic information to (i) estimate accurately the underlying true inbreeding of an animal, and (ii) control inbreeding at pre-defined rates of true inbreeding when carrying out selection. This is important because high rates of inbreeding reduce genetic gain and are harmful to livestock populations. My solution to this problem is to (i) develop a method that uses genomic information to estimate true inbreeding accurately, and (ii) select livestock animals with differential inbreeding control at multiple segments along the genome. I reason that this will realize more genetic gain than selection with inbreeding control based on average inbreeding across the genome. Success in this will vastly benefit DanBred’s pig-breeding program and all livestock industries, make livestock production more sustainable, have a profound impact on animal breeding, and align with the values of the Innovation Fund (”Ambitiøse
og varige grønne forskningsinitiativer”). It will realize more genetic gain for production traits, improve animal welfare by reducing the harmful effects of inbreeding, reduce emissions from livestock, and minimise our use of natural resources. It will maintain more genetic variation in livestock populations,
increasing the potential to realise genetic gains in the future and enabling animals to adapt to production, feeding, and climatic changes. My project is, therefore, an ambitious and green research initiative that has only now become possible because of recent technological advances that have made available vast amounts of genomic information.
Effective start/end date01/08/202131/07/2024

ID: 223907536