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Increasing genetic progress in pigs and cattle using novel genomic selection tools including interaction effects

Project: Research

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Among proposed methods in recent decades, genomic selection has the greatest potential to increase genetic progress in farm animals. It has been shown that genomic selection in dairy cattle breeding can increase the genetic progress by two times and reduce the costs for proving bulls by 92%. Genomic selection exploits the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers across the genome to predict the genetic value for each SNP or a number of SNPs in a haplotype. However, The statistical methods that have been proposed only consider each marker haplotype independently and the joint effects and interactions between marker haplotypes across the whole genome have not been considered and need to be addressed. By 2008, the marker data of 2,000 proven Danish Holstein bulls, each with 60,000 SNPs and the marker maps of pigs with 7,000 SNPs will be available. A huge potential will be to study genome-wide interactions between genes and strategies to utilize this knowledge in breeding industry.
This project will be accomplished in three major parts: a) Simulation study for investigating the importance of interaction effects in predicting genomic values of haplotypes. b) Developing methods and prediction models with the ability to accommodate interaction effects, and implementing these methods in widely used software packages for genetic evaluations, and c) Genome-wide investigation of genetic interaction in pigs and dairy cattle data. The objectives of this project are:
1) To provide knowledge and tools for including interaction effects in prediction models in order to achieve better and higher genetic gain and in order to better utilise genomic selection to improve performance of crossbreds.
2) To implement methods for including interaction effects in computer packages used for large scale genetic evaluation. 3) To develop genomic selection models applied to economically important traits of pigs and cattle. The result of this project is expected to be immediately used in breeding industry for evaluating
selection candidates in pigs and cattle, yielding better predictions over generations and leading to more genetic gain.
Effective start/end date01/09/200815/07/2012


  • University of Alabama

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

ID: 128946787