Norwegian Red breeding program
HD Genomics is the unique genomics based breeding program for Norwegian Red which is built on the foundation of Geno's long term progeny testing program.
Breeding value calculations by Geno are based on single-step genomic prediction. This means that all bulls and cows, both those who have genotype information and those who do not, receive estimated breeding values in the same step.
What is the advantage of single-step genomic selection?
The advantage, over commonly used 2-step methods, is that all available information, such as phenotypes, genotypes and pedigree information on all animals is included simultaneously in the prediction of breeding values. This results in the highest reliabilities possible for the genomic breeding values of sires.
Also, the genomic breeding values for proven bulls and genomic selected bulls are based on the same information and predictions, making a fair comparison among bulls possible.
Overview of the Norwegian Red breeding progam.
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Relationship between animals
In single-step genomic prediction of breeding values, a combined relationship matrix (including genotyped and non-genotyped animals) is calculated. This relationship matrix is then used to calculate breeding values for all animals (all bulls and cows of all ages). By using this method, all the available information will be utilized.
Utilization of all available information
Phenotype information which is recorded on animals that are not genotyped will be utilized in an optimum fashion. This is important for cattle because most of the phenotype information is measured in cows, which often not are genotyped, while it is bulls that are key for selection and genetic progress. By being able to include this phenotype information in the same step as genetic information, the breeding values for bulls will become more accurate because all available information is exploited.
Bulls for export
We expect that many of the same Norwegian Red elite sires used in Norway will also be available for the export market. With genomic selection, all the elite bulls will actually get a progeny test like in the past. However, the progeny groups will be even larger than in the past with most bulls likely surpassing 1000 daughters. While these older sires with daughter data will not be used in Norway to any large extent some highly selected sires will be available for export markets.