HFA300 Animal Breeding and Conservation Plans

Credits (ECTS):15

Course responsible:Peer Berg

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:The course requires at least 5 participants.

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:325 hours

Teaching and exam period:

This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel and June block.

About this course

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

Knowledge: Students can

  • Explain differences between breeding and conservation schemes.
  • Understand genetic contribution theory as a unifying theory of genetic progress and inbreeding.
  • Know methods to model genetic effects, primarily using stochastic simulation.
  • Understand advanced knowledge on the elements required to set up a successful breeding and conservation scheme.
  • Understand principles underlying the definition of breeding objectives.
  • Describe and model principles for dissemination of genetic progress.
  • describe (i) methods to estimate (genomic) inbreeding and relationships, (ii) the evolution of inbreeding, relationships and genetic variances within and between (small) populations, (iii) methods for the management of inbreeding and genetic diversity in small populations.

SKILLS: Students will be able to

  • Model simple breeding and conservation schemes to predict effects of these schemes on genetic progress and maintenance of genetic diversity, using stochastic and deterministic methods.
  • Predict effects of existing and new reproductive and genomic technologies.
  • Apply knowledge in optimization of breeding plans in the presence of genotype-environment interactions and breeding plans utilizing cross breeding.
  • Analyse breeding and conservation schemes and identify changes that could improve these schemes.
  • Describe methods for derivation of breeding objectives.
  • Critically evaluate scientific papers in the field of animal breeding and conservation schemes.
  • Estimate inbreeding and relationships and optimal genetic contributions using alternative sources of data, including genomic data.

General competences:

The students develop analytical approaches to the management of genetic progress and genetic diversity in small populations, derivation of breeding objectives, use of crossbreeding, effects of genotype-environment interactions, and dissemination of genetic progress. Unravel the contributions of inbreeding, (genomic) relationships and genetic variance to the total genetic diversity. The students should acquire sufficient knowledge to contribute to the management of breeding and conservation schemes across species.

  • The course will use physical and on-line lectures, discussions, student presentations, individual and group exercises, individual project assignments, presentation and evaluations of scientific literature.
  • Physical and on-line lectures, discussions, presentations, individual studies, and group exercises. Problem oriented teaching with compulsory hand ins and a final report.
  • Breeding course - HFA200

    Prediction of breeding values - BIN301

  • Oral exam
  • External examiner.
  • Participation in group work and presentations. Submission of reports.
  • Lectures: ca. 40 hours. Colloqia: ca. 30 hours. Group and individual work: ca. 285 hours. Presentations of group work and individual assignments: 20 hours.
  • Letter grades
  • Special requirements in Science