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Improved dairy cattle mating plans at herd level using genomic information

Abstract : From 2012 to 2018, 223 180 Montbéliarde females were genotyped in France and the number of newly geno-typed females increased at a rate of about 33% each year. With female genotyping information, farmers have ac-cess to the genomic estimated breeding values of the females in their herd and to their carrier status for geneticdefects or major genes segregating in the breed. This information, combined with genomic coancestry, can beused when planning matings in order to maximize the expected on-farm profit of future female offspring. Wecompared different mating allocation approaches for their capacity to maximize the expected genetic gainwhile limiting expected progeny inbreeding and the probability to conceive an offspring homozygous for a lethalrecessive allele. Three mate allocation strategies (random mating (RAND), sequential mating (gSEQ€)andlinearprograming mating (gLP€)) were compared on 160 actual Montbéliarde herds using male and female genomicinformation. Then, we assessed the benefit of using female genomic information by comparing matings plannedusing only female pedigree information with the equivalent strategy using genomic information. We measuredthe benefit of adding genomic expected inbreeding and risk of conception of an offspring homozygous for a lethalrecessive allele to Net merit in mating plans. The influence of three constraints was tested: by relaxing the con-straint on availability of a particular semen type (sexed or conventional) for bulls, by adding an upper limit of8.5% coancestry between mate pairs or by using a more stringent maximum use of a bull in a herd (5% vs 10%).The use of genomic information instead of pedigree information improved the mate allocation method interms of progeny expected genetic merit, genetic diversity and risk to conceive an offspring homozygous for alethal recessive allele. Optimizing mate allocation using linear programming and constraining coancestry to amaximum of 8.5% per mate pair reduced the average coancestry with a small impact on expected Net Merit. Insummary, for male and female selection pathways, using genomic information is more efficient than using ped-igree information to maximize genetic gain while constraining the expected inbreeding of the progeny and therisk to conceive an offspring homozygous for a lethal recessive allele. This study also underlines the key role ofsemen type (sexed vs conventional) and the associated constraints on the mate allocation algorithm to maximizegenetic gain while maintaining genetic diversity and limiting the risk to conceive an offspring homozygous for alethal recessive allele
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Contributor : Didier Boichard <>
Submitted on : Sunday, January 3, 2021 - 7:54:01 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 2:57:34 PM

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M. Bérodier, P. Berg, T. Meuwissen, D. Boichard, M. Brochard, et al.. Improved dairy cattle mating plans at herd level using genomic information. animal, Published by Elsevier (since 2021) / Cambridge University Press (until 2020), 2021, 15 (1), pp.100016. ⟨10.1016/j.animal.2020.100016⟩. ⟨hal-03093304⟩

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