Journal article
Implementing a genomic rotational crossbreeding scheme to promote local dairy cattle breeds-A simulation study

Publication Details
Stock, J.; Esfandyari, H.; Hinrichs, D.; Bennewitz, J.
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Journal of Dairy Science
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In dairy cattle breeding, there is a clear trend toward the use of only a few high-yielding breeds. One main reason is that efficient breeding programs require a certain population size. Since some numerically small breeds are well known for their functional traits, they might be an interesting crossing partner for high-yielding breeds with the aim to utilize heterosis. This simulation study investigated the transition period of a small cattle population for the implementation of genomic selection and rotational crossbreeding with a high-yielding breed. Real SNP chip genotype data from the numerically small red dairy breed Angler and the high-yielding breed Holstein Friesian were used to simulate the base generations, from which rotational crossbreeding was conducted for 10 generations. A polygenic trait with many quantitative trait loci with additive and directional dominance effects was simulated. Different selection methods for Angler sires (purebred performance, crossbred performance, and weighted purebred-crossbred performance) and different sizes and structures of the reference population (Angler, crossbred animals, and Angler plus crossbred animals) were considered. The results showed that the implementation of a genomic rotational crossbreeding scheme is an appealing option to promote the numerically small Angler breed. The growing reference population consisting of Angler and crossbred individuals maximized the genetic gain for Angler and the performance level for the crossbred individuals. Selection for purebred performance, crossbred performance, or a weighted combination of both hardly affected the results, and differences between selection scenarios were observed only in the long term with decreasing purebred-crossbred correlations.


Last updated on 2021-14-07 at 11:21