Genomic studies for fertility, health, and efficiency traits in dairy cattle - Year two
The advent of genomic selection in the dairy industry has increased genetic progress; however, new challenges are emerging. Rapid population growth and associated demographic and economic changes are increasing global demand for dairy products. Moreover, the industry must address several societal and consumer issues such as human health, animal health and welfare, and the environmental footprint (e.g., greenhouse gases, antibiotic and hormone use). These new challenges require an animal that is capable of adapting to changing environmental conditions without compromising its productivity, health or fertility while becoming more resource-efficient and reducing its environmental burden.
Improvement in overall animal resilience will reduce costs for the Canadian dairy industry and provide wider benefits to society. This project aims to identify genomic markers (e.g., copy number variants) and perform genetic association analyses with traits related to resilience such as health, fertility and efficiency traits. The results will assist Lactanet (our industry partner) with the implementation of novel genomic tools for a selection index to increase dairy cow resilience in Canadian herds.