Course

Genotype by environment interaction, uniformity and resilience

Organised by WUR Animal Breeding and Genomics / WIAS
Date

Mon 3 February 2020 until Fri 7 February 2020

Genotype by environment interaction, uniformity and resilience

Wageningen University & Research organizes a 5-day course on genotype by environment interaction, uniformity and resilience from 3-7 February at Wageningen Campus.

Background
Living organisms need to be able to adapt to their environment. Darwin set the ground for the understanding of adaptation and evolution driven by genetic variation, selection and inheritance. From evolutionary genetics, we know that genetic variation in plasticity is important, especially in the context of changing environments. Artificial selection drives adaptation in domestic animal and plant populations with animal and plant breeding programmes typical examples of it. Superior genotypes (varieties in plants, offspring of superior sires in animals) need to perform in a range of environments, sometimes as wide as the entire world. But even at the local scale, the environmental conditions are constantly changing and the farmer prefers genotypes that are capable of handling these environmental disturbances, i.e. are resilient. In animal and plant production systems, a high and uniform production is the ultimate desirable trait. Understanding the different concepts related to genotype by environment interaction such as plasticity, stability, uniformity and resilience can help PhD-students and post-doctoral researchers in explaining the different performances of animals and plants in different environments. This can help in optimizing breeding program design and in deciding on the most suitable methodology to analyze specific datasets. We aim to integrate pedigree-based and genomic approaches as much as possible and show the added benefit of genomic selection to deal with GxE in breeding programs.

Aim and learning goals
The course is focused on the concepts of genotype by environment interaction (G x E) and heritable variability in performance. Theory will be lectured and practical computer exercises will allow the participants to bring the theory into practice. The learning outcomes of the course are:
-To understand basic G x E terminology such as plasticity, stability, environmental sensitivity, adaptability, resilience, heritable variation in environmental variance, and canalization.
-To understand the consequences of G x E for breeding programs.
-To understand different pedigree and genomic-based statistical models useful to describe G x E.
-To apply the most appropriate G x E models for a particular situation and interpret the results.
-To understand and analyze heritable variation in stability, uniformity and resilience indicators.
-To predict response to selection for means and variances in pedigree-based and genomic breeding programs.

Target audience
The course is designed for PhD-students and postdoctoral fellows working in animal and plant breeding. Participants are expected to be familiar with basic quantitative genetics and statistical concepts, including ANOVA, regression, and mixed model analyses.

Organizational information
Minimum participants: 20 (4 week before course we will take the decision to organize or cancel the course)
Maximum participants: 40
Venue: On Wageningen Campus
Number of ECTS: 1.5 ECTS.

Lecturers:
Dr Han Mulder (Wageningen University & Research Animal Breeding and Genomics)
Dr Piter Bijma (Wageningen University & Research Animal Breeding and Genomics)
Dr John Bastiaansen (Wageningen University & Research Animal Breeding and Genomics)
Dr Yvonne Wientjes (Wageningen University & Research Animal Breeding and Genomics)

Fees:
WIAS and other WU-PhD with TSP € 600.00
(50% of the fee will be paid by WIAS or by other graduate schools of WU)
Other PhDs and WU staff € 1000.00
All others € 2000.00

Participants have to arrange and pay for their own travel and accommodation. Coffee, lunches and a dinner is included in the course fee.

Until 4 weeks before the course starts, you can withdraw from the course without costs.

Provisional course outline
Handouts will be provided at the start of the course and will include the material presented in the course and a number of review papers. This outline is provisional, small changes may occur.

DayTimeTeacher Subject
Monday
3 February9.00Han MulderWelcome + introduction course participants
9.30Han MulderBasic concepts and definitions in multi-environment data: G, E, and GxE (Lecture)
10.30Coffee
11.00Han MulderBasic concepts and definitions in multi-environment data: G, E, and GxE (Practical)
12.30Lunch
13.30Piter BijmaGeneral concepts related to response to selection with G x E (Lecture)
15.00Coffee
15.30Piter BijmaGeneral concepts related to response to selection with G x E (Practical)
17.00
Tuesday 4 February9.00Han MulderDesigns to estimate GxE and breeding programs to deal with GxE (Lecture)
10.30Coffee break
11.00Han MulderDesigns to estimate GxE and breeding programs to deal with GxE (Practical)
12.30Lunch
13.30John BastiaansenEstimation of GxE using pedigree and genomics including SNP by E interactions (Lecture)
15.00Coffee break
15.30John BastiaansenEstimation of GxE using pedigree and genomics including SNP By E interactions (Practical)
17.00

DayTimeTeacher Subject
Wednesday 5 February9.00Piter BijmaQuantitative genetics of uniformity, effects of mating and inbreeding (Lecture)
10.30Coffee
11.00Piter BijmaQuantitative genetics of uniformity, effects of mating and inbreeding (Practical)
12.30Lunch
13.30Han MulderResponse to selection in variance (Lecture)
15.00Coffee
15.30Han MulderResponse to selection in variance (Practical)
17.00

Thursday 6 February9.00Han MulderEstimating genetic variance in variability (Lecture)
10.00Marieke PoppeDeveloping resilience indicators
10.30Coffee
11.00Han MulderEstimating genetic variance in variability (Practical)
12.30Lunch
13.30Yvonne WientjesThe issue of purebreds and crossbreds
(Lecture)
15.00Coffee
15.30Yvonne WientjesAccuracy of genomic selection and application to purebred-crossbred case (Practical)
17.00
Friday 7 February9.00Piter BijmaModelling variances in plant breeding (Lecture)
10.30Coffee
11.00Piter BijmaModelling variances in plant breeding (Practical)
12.15Han/JohnClosure and handing out certificates
12.45Lunch