Course code HFA300

HFA300 Animal Breeding Plans

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2018 - 2019 .

Course responsible: Peer Berg
Teachers: Hans Magnus Gjøen, Theodorus Hendrikus Elisabeth Meuwissen
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2004-2005
Course contents:
Predicting the effect of breeding schemes is an important prerequisite for optimisation of elements of a breeding scheme. This covers direct effects of selection on traits selected for, indirect effects on correlated traits and risk assessment relative to inbreeding and sustainability. The course focuses on understanding and application of methods for prediction of the effect of alternative breeding schemes, deterministic and stochastic simulation. In addition, formulation of breeding objectives, use of molecular genetic information, reproduction technologies, selection and mating strategies. The course will primarily focus on the elements of a deterministic model for prediction of of response to selection, based on understanding the elements of the model and on use of the model to compare alternative breeding schemes for pig, cattle, sheep, poultry and fish. Computer exercises will primarily be based on R.
Learning outcome:
Students should be able to
  • Explain the elements required to set up a successful breeding scheme.
  • Compare principles underlying the definition of breeding objectives and methods for their derivation.
  • Describe and use stochastic and deterministic methods for predicting effects of breeding schemes
  • Model specific breeding schemes and predict their effects.
  • Explain the effects of reproductive and genomic technologies.
  • Explain methods for maintaining genetic diversity in the presence of selection.
  • Discuss optimization of breeding plans in the presence of genotype-environment interactions and breeding plans utilizing cross breeding.
  • Describe principles for dissemination of genetic progress.
Learning activities:

In earlier courses, breeding plans and theory are presented. In this course students will develop a more detailed understanding of the elements of breeding schemes. Particularly, focus will be on understanding elements of and implementation of a deterministic model to predict response to selection in realistic breeding schemes. Through on-line lectures, discussions, presentations, individual studies, group exercises, individual semester assignments, the use of models developed in the course and lectures, students should be able to evaluate:

- consequences of alternative strategies on effects of breeding, response, correlated response and inbreeding.

- effect of alternative definitions of breeding objectives.

- recording of traits

- derivation of economic values in breeding goals, and calculation of economic gain from breeding.

- the importance of the structure of the production system for dissemination of genetic progress, including genotype-environment interactions and use of cross-breeding

Students will analyse model breeding schemes for fish, pigs, poultry, cattle, sheep and/or goats in exercises and written reports.

Teaching support:
Use of on-line lectures integrated with discussion and exercises. Contact with breeding organization people.

Textbook for HFA200 or other basic course in breeding/quantitative genetics.

Distributed notes and scientific papers. Material on the course web site.

Breeding course. (HFA200 or AQB200.)
Recommended prerequisites:
Practical breeding course. (HFA251, AQB270, or other courses containing animal breeding plans.)
Mandatory activity:
Participation in group work and presentations. Submission of individual assignment.
Individual term paper.
Nominal workload:
300 hours
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Lectures: ca. 28 hours. Exercises: ca. 22 hours. Group work: ca. 60 hours. Presentations of group work and individual assignments: 10 hours.
If there are less than 5 students, the lecturing routine will be altered.
External examiner.
Examination details: Term paper: A - E / Ikke bestått