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Finding the sweet spot for genetic gain

Monday 26th of May 2014

University of New England’s post-graduate student Tom Granleese is studying how to balance both optimising the rate of genetic improvement in a flock by using analysis of DNA to help identify superior animals, while reducing the risk of inbreeding when using advanced reproductive technologies to produce multiple lambs from superior ewes.

"Current estimates indicate that between 18 and 30 per cent faster genetic gain is possible by using genomic (DNA) testing for selection," Mr Granleese said.

"Using reproductive technologies such as Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer (MOET) or Juvenile In Vitro Fertilisation (JIVET) in conjunction with genomic selection, we predict that the rate of genetic gain can be increased by up to 80 per cent without increasing the rate of inbreeding that represents a risk when breeding from small numbers of elite animals."

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