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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331455

Research Project: Understanding Genetic and Physiological Factors Affecting Nutrient Use Efficiency of Dairy Cattle

Location: Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory

Title: An international effort to improve feed efficiency and reduce methane emissions in dairy cows through genomics

item Wilson, A.m. - University Of Guelph
item Butty, A.m. - University Of Guelph
item Baes, Christine - University Of Guelph
item Canovas, A - University Of Guelph
item Coffey, Mike - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item Connor, Erin
item De Pauw, Mary - University Of Alberta
item Gredler, B - Collaborator
item Goddard, E - University Of Alberta
item Hailu, G - University Of Guelph
item Osborne, V - University Of Guelph
item Pryce, Jenny - Collaborator
item Sargolzaei, M - Semex Alliance
item Schenkel, F.s. - University Of Guelph
item Stothard, Paul - University Of Alberta
item Wall, Eileen - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item Wang, Z - University Of Alberta
item Wright, T.c. - University Of Guelph
item Miglior, Flippo - Canadian Dairy Network

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/23/2016
Publication Date: 7/11/2016
Citation: Wilson, A., Butty, A., Baes, C., Canovas, A., Coffey, M.P., Connor, E.E., De Pauw, M., Gredler, B., Goddard, E., Hailu, G., Osborne, V.R., Pryce, J.E., Sargolzaei, M., Schenkel, F., Stothard, P., Wall, E., Wang, Z., Wright, T., Miglior, F. 2016. An international effort to improve feed efficiency and reduce methane emissions in dairy cows through genomics. Journal of Dairy Science. 99(E. Suppl.1):149.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Increasing international demand for high quality dairy and meat products as well as greater awareness of climate change has put pressure on the livestock industry to deliver quality products while reducing its environmental impact. Enteric methane from cattle is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and is a target of reduction through improving cow feed efficiency (FE) and reducing methane emissions (ME). The overall goal of this project is to produce genomic predictions for FE and ME that are ready for breeding application in the dairy cattle industry. Breeding for improved FE and less methane emitted will lower feed costs and reduce the industry’s environmental footprint. Collecting phenotypes required for genetic improvement is presently very difficult and expensive, and to date, there has been limited to no direct selection for these traits in dairy cattle breeding. Recent genomic approaches provide the opportunity to finally select for these traits, but require a large reference population with accurate phenotypes. Data of individual feed intake and ME are being collected from dairy cows and heifers, and whole DNA (Genome) and RNA (Transcriptome) sequence information will be used to identify new markers or mutations that influence the traits. The expanded Canadian database will be combined with international data from the United States, UK, Australia and Switzerland to create the world’s first database to routinely validate genomic predictions for FE and ME. Milk spectral records will also be used to further develop predictions of FE and ME. In addition, research will be conducted to analyze the economic, environmental and social costs and benefits of the two traits, as well as the economic and social factors affecting the adoption of the technology at farm, industry and national levels.