Genome wide breeding

Genomic selection is becoming the state-of-the art method for breeding and selection in the breeding industry. In theory, the newly available genome sequence data allows to further investigate the genetic basis of breeding goal traits.

In animal breeding, it is foreseen that genome sequence data will be available on a large scale in a few years’ time. Important questions are:

  • how are we going to deal with this new data with enormous dimensions, and
  • what is the added benefit of using this versus currently available SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) arrays?

Aim of this project is to develop models to utilize genome sequence data to its full extent as required for precision breeding. An important challenge is to relate the increasing amount of genomic data to phenotypic data, to allow predicting of the breeding value (genetic potential) of animals across the range of breeding goal traits. This project primarily focusses on Holstein dairy cattle, because this population has a known pedigree structure and reliable phenotypes.