Genomic breeding program optimisation

The success of a breeding program depends not only on implementing the most appropriate breeding goal, considering both consumer and societal demands, but also to efficiently achieve this. When doing so, it is important to achieve genetic gain while limiting the rate of inbreeding and controlling the costs of the breeding program. The breeding programs of the Breed4Food partners all use genomic selection.
Thus, and important aspect of optimizing their breeding program involves selecting animals to be phenotyped and genotyped.

Genomic prediction (WP1) is the core engine of modern breeding programs. Efficiently feeding this engine, while maximizing the generated genetic gain per unit of cost, both in the short and long term, is a key challenge. WP4 aims to contribute to this challenge, by generating tools to optimize the design of genomic breeding programs.
The developed tools not only enable to optimize breeding programs for breeding goal traits that remain important over time, but also support short-term operation level changes to provide flexibility to meet changes in societal or market needs. An important challenge is to maintain the genetic diversity in the breeding populations at such a level that long-term genetic gain is safeguarded. To this end, WP4 also aims to develop tools to select outcross and rare haplotypes as well as animals.