ClosedAgriculture & Agri-food

Development of genome-enhanced EBV’s for the SOW feed intake and efficiency

PROJECT LEAD(S)/CO-LEAD(S) Stephen Moore (University of Queensland), Bob Kemp (Genesus Genetics), & Max Rothschild (Iowa State University)
COMPETITION/ FUNDING OPPORTUNITY Genome Alberta - Alberta Livestock Genomics Program (ALGP)
PROJECT START DATE January 1, 2011
PROJECT END DATE June 30, 2014

Sow longevity (lifetime production) and efficiency are two of the most important economic drivers of profitability for pork producers. Genetic improvement of sow feed intake, efficiency and longevity is possible due to the development of genomic tools like the 60K Porcine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) chip, opening new opportunities to examine the underlying genetics for these important traits. The goal of this project is to develop genome enhanced estimated breeding values (GEBVs) for sow feed intake and efficiency. These GEBVs will allow breeders to implement genetic improvement programs for these key traits. The objectives of this project are to: (1) validate SNP associations among sow lactation feed intake and sow reproduction/longevity traits, (2) develop genome enhanced estimated breeding value methods for sow lactation feed intake and reproduction/longevity traits, and (3) demonstrate for other Canadian breeding companies a method to incorporate genome enhanced estimated breeding values into a genetic improvement program. The overall outcome is to develop and demonstrate a genetic improvement program that incorporates genome enhanced estimated breeding values for the key economic traits of sow feed intake, reproduction, and longevity. This will enhance the competitive position of Canadian pork producers and genetic companies resulting in economic improvements worth over $10 million per year.

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