Accelerating genomic prediction in Breed4food
Sustainable production of high-quality, healthy animal proteins for a growing world population is the key challenge for livestock industry towards 2050. Breed4Food partners are animal breeding companies that continue to have a cumulative contribution towards three of the MMIP missions (A, B, D) of 1 to 2% per year through genetic improvement of animals. The aim of this PPP is to increase this contribution and to strengthen the position of the companies worldwide by accelerating the innovation and impact of the core engine for genomic prediction. Accelerating the innovation and impact of genomic prediction enables the partners to create more genetic progress for a broader range of traits, by adding novel traits to the breeding goal, by using more diverse genetics, and by being more flexible in their breeding program to better adapt to societal or market demands. In addition to the technological developments, existing frameworks for the dialogue with society about responsible innovation will be adapted and implemented.
In this PPP key technologies (Biotechnology and Breeding), surrounding the genomic prediction core engine of modern breeding programs, are innovated to increase the impact of animal breeding worldwide and its contribution towards three MMIP missions (A, B, and D).
In this PPP fundamental and applied research is performed for the development of generic key technologies related to the core engine of genomic prediction for the breeding companies. Moreover, it develops concepts and the underlying tools to apply these key technologies in breeding programs in the mid-long term to contribute to A. Circular agriculture, B. Climate-neutral agriculture and food production D. Valued, healthy and safe food.
In animal breeding, the most important aspect is not to develop a new breed, but to select the best animals from the current population to produce the next generation. Genomic prediction is the method of choice to accurately rank selection candidates early in their life, to ensure rapid genetic improvement. This in turn enables the breeding companies to stay competitive, and quickly adapt to changing societal and market demands. Main intended results for the 5 work packages (WP) are: 1) continuous improvement of models and software and validation methods for the core engine of genomic prediction, 2) incorporation of new bioinformatics DNA information (DNA informed breeding), 3) an interface to include high dimensional and longitudinal phenotypic data in genomic prediction, 4) enabling dynamic and real-time optimization of breeding programmes by integration with genomic prediction, and 5) adapting and implementing the existing frameworks for the dialogue with society about responsible innovation.
Within the PPP, each WP will have three meetings in 2022. In June all WP will present an update to the Working Group, while in November a written progress report will be provided to the Working Group and Board. Two seminars/webinars will be organized per year, to which targeted stakeholders will be invited. The Breed4Food partners make an important contribution to the organization of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP), the premier international conference held every four years on a different continent, attracting both scientists, NGOs, and practitioners, which will be held in July 2022 in Rotterdam.