Submitted to: European Association of Animal Production Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2009
Publication Date: 8/24/2009
Citation: Van Raden, P.M. 2009. Future animal improvement programs applied to global populations. European Association of Animal Production Proceedings. Book of Abstracts Number 15:28. 2009.
Technical Abstract: Breeding programs evolved gradually from within-herd phenotypic selection to local and regional cooperatives to national evaluations and now international evaluations. In the future, breeders may adapt reproductive, computational, and genomic methods to global populations as easily as with national populations now. Countries could merge phenotypes for standard traits such as production, SCS, and longevity across borders instead of duplicating evaluation efforts within each country. This would also simplify across border marketing. Larger farms collect much automatic data, but might not provide it for use in evaluations unless paid to do so. Phenotypes for new or less heritable traits will become a limiting factor as the supply of genotypes rapidly expands and the price of genotyping decreases. Individual company or country data sets for traits recorded only recently such as heifer fertility may be too small for reliable genomic predictions, whereas a combined international file would give good results. Dairy cattle breeders exchange breeding values worldwide for many standard traits via Interbull, and methods are now needed to exchange either genomic evaluations or genotypes. Goals are to adapt multi-trait across country evaluation (MACE) in the short term and to merge data in the long term. Swine and poultry breeding companies may find that more open exchange such as in dairy cattle leads to more rapid progress in the genomic era. Separate breeding companies can each pay to test their own animals, but shared investment in genotyping of reference populations can result in larger returns. Genotyped young animals are rapidly replacing progeny tested bulls and phenotyped cows as sources of breeding stock. A new market could also develop for genotyped frozen embryos. Marker subsets may be selected to provide, for example, 40% of the benefit of the full set for only 10% of the cost, allowing wide application of low density chips. The global population of animal breeders will develop and apply many other new tools to improve the global population of animals.