Poultry breeding companies unite on genomics programme
Poultry breeding companies Aviagen, Hy-Line
International and Lohmann Tierzucht have committed to a combined initiative to
evaluate and implement a new genetic technology - Genome Wide Selection - in
their respective breeding programmes.
The companies will use their collective experience from their individual
genomics investments and sponsor a major new research initiative to advance this
Individually they have developed an extensive panel of markers for their
unique genetic lines. The goal of this project is to optimise the effectiveness
of Genome Wide Selection in its widest sense. This will lead to full-scale
evaluation and ultimately to practical implementation of Genome Wide Selection
in their breeding programmes.
Significant gains in overall genetic progress
The "traditional" approach to using DNA markers was to find those which
accounted for large effects in animal performance. Typically this would involve
typing breeding animals for a small number of markers and using that information
alongside the traditional breeding technologies. This is generally known as
Marker Assisted Selection. Genome Wide Selection uses thousands of markers
spread across the whole genome. Each marker has a potential effect on
performance ranging from small to large and all of the markers are used
simultaneously. This is likely to result in significant gains in overall genetic
progress relative to some of the current selection practices using pedigree
phenotypic selection only.
An additional potential benefit of Genome Wide Selection will be the
ability to collect phenotypic data expressed later in the life of the animal
after selections have been made. In layers, for example, this will halve the
effective generation interval potentially doubling the rate of genetic gain over
time compared to conventional selection methods.
Source: Aviagen press release
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