The WIAS course Genotype by environment interaction, uniformity and resilience that was organized from 3-7 February at Wageningen Campus, was a great success. The course was attended by an enthusiastic group of 39 participants from all over the world. The course addressed analyses of genotype by environment interaction, uniformity and resilience in animal and plant breeding and how heritable variation can be exploited in breeding programs. A challenging and theoretical topic, that was made more applied in the diverse computer practicals.
The course discussed the available methods to design and analyze data sets and experiments to study genotype by environment interaction (GxE), uniformity and resilience. The presence of GxE has an impact on the optimization of breeding programs, which was addressed both with or without genomic selection. The course also focused on the specific case of purebreds and crossbred in pigs and poultry in terms of optimizing the reference population with genomic selection. Furthermore, the possibility to generate genetic improvement for uniformity, environmental sensitivity and resilience was addressed and to which extent means and variances can be changed by selection.
Education follows research
The course followed the concept of ‘education follows research’ and latest research topics and findings were integrated in a teaching setting. ‘Teaching such a course is a nice platform to share the latest developed methods and insights with the wider research community’, says dr Han Mulder, coordinator and one of the teachers of the course. The other teachers of the course were dr John Bastiaansen, dr Piter Bijma, Marieke Poppe MSc and dr Yvonne Wientjes; all from Wageningen University & Research Animal Breeding and Genomics. The large number of participants from all over the world shows the importance of the subject. Many participants were PhD-students and postdocs from universities and research institutions or researchers at companies in animal and plant breeding.