JUL 01, 2020 1:30 PM SGT

Use of genomic information in a dairy buffalo breeding program

Speaker
  • Supervising Science Research Specialist, Philippine Carabao Center, University of the Philippines-Los Banos (UPLB), Philippines
    BIOGRAPHY

Abstract

The Philippine government, thru the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), has undertaken a genetic improvement program of dairy buffaloes. Selection of semen donor bulls is based on the performance of daughters. Performance data and pedigree information came from animals in institutional herds managed by the Center. Riverine dairy breeds present locally came from Bulgaria, Brazil, USA and Italy. Present constraints are the limited number of animals maintained in institutional herds where performance data is regularly collected, limited space for bulls undergoing progeny testing, accuracies of progeny test bulls are low due to the small number of daughters with lactation records, and progeny testing is slow and expensive. Even with the above constraints, phenotypic and genetic trends were still positive.

With the availability of a buffalo SNP chip, genomic information was now used in the diary buffalo breeding program. The reference population consisted of females, with up to three lactation records, coming from three riverine breeds that are all Murrah-based. Single-step genomic evaluation was utilized to generate breeding values. The additional SNP information provided by the genotyped animals increased the accuracy of prediction in ssGLUP compared to pBLUP. Young bulls are now being selected for milk yield based on their breeding values coming from pedigree, performance data and genomic information. Use of genomic selection still resulted in genetic gain, mainly due to the reduction of the generation interval (from ~8 years to 3.5 years). It also resulted in the decrease of long term costs with the reduction of the number of bulls maintained since there are no more waiting bulls.


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