Genomics Service for dairy crossbreds launched

We are pleased to launch the ICBF genomics service for across breed dairy evaluations. The genotype ordering screens has been updated to allow DNA sampling kits for multiple dairy breeds to be ordered online. The ordering menu has also been upgraded which will make it more user friendly to order genotypes, particularly for a group of females. The cost to genotype dairy females as part of a group or individually is now €22.

Updated Genomic Training population

To generate genomic evaluations, a training population needs to be established and continually updated.  The training population is a large population of genotyped animals with accurate performance information such as milk yield or fertility. The associations between the DNA and performance measures are then developed from this population. The genomic data is combined with performance data and ancestry data which will increase the EBI accuracy of an animal.

Earlier this year, the size and criteria of the training population was updated after several years of research involving ICBF and Teagasc. Updating the size and criteria of animals included in the training population is essential to increase the accuracy of genomic predictions and to generate greater genetic gain in the future. Previously, there were in the region of 10,000 informative sires within the Irish Holstein-Friesian training population and the criteria for including animals to this population had also remained the same since dairy genomics was first launched over 10 years ago. There are now over 52,000 and 61,000 animals in the training population for milk and fertility traits respectively since the October evaluation run.

Genotyped females and other dairy breeds such as Jerseys and Norwegian Reds are included in the Irish training population since the January evaluation run. Dairy genomic evaluations were previously limited to Holstein-Friesians, however, the inclusion of multiple breeds to the training population means that genomic evaluations can be published for these dairy breeds.

What dairy breeds can now get a genomic evaluation?

Holstein/Friesians, Jerseys, Ayrshires, Montbeliardes and Norwegian Reds are now eligible for genomic evaluations.

What are the new eligibility rules for dairy animals to get a genomic evaluation?

If the sum of all breed percentages (HO + FR + JE + AY + MO + NR) is greater than or equal to 87.5% then the animal will be eligible for a genomic evaluation.

What traits will get genomic evaluations published in the EBI for dairy crossbreds?

There will be genomic evaluations published for all traits in the EBI for dairy crossbreds, just like the Holstein/Friesians.

What is the reliability of genotyped crossbred animals compared to genotyped Ho/Fr animals?

Every individual is different, including those from different breeds. In addition, the published genomic figure is a combination of the traditional evaluation and the genomics.

On average across all genotyped animals, the direct genomic value (DGV) reliability for HO/FR animals is 87.8% for milk, and 65.7% for fertility. For the crossbred animals, the average reliability is 83.23% (milk) and 60.21% (fertility), so there is about 4-5% difference in reliability.

Genomic Evaluation results

The genomic results will be incorporated into the animal’s genetic evaluation and can be viewed quickly and easily on the dairy genomic results evaluation profile.

The profile displays an animal’s current official genomic proof and the difference from non-genomic proof. The difference from non-genomic proof calculates the difference between the genomic EBI and the non-genomic proof. This is done across all the traits from the EBI. A detailed genomic evaluation report will also be available to view on the reports section of the website. This genomic Information can be used to make better management decisions such as, mating optimisation, verification of pedigree and increase the EBI reliability figure. Click Here for more information on the benefits of genotyping your dairy females.

How to Order a Genotype?

Herd-owners can order DNA kits through our self-selection screen by logging into your ICBF Account and selecting ‘Services’ – ‘Genomic Services’ – ‘Place Order’– ‘Genotype Female Groups’. All the different stages of the order can be tracked using the Genotype tracking screen. Payment can be made using a credit or debit card.  Alternatively, you can call HerdPlus on 023 8820452 or email [email protected]