Danish Genetics announces 100 percent genomic selection

By Danish Genetics - Monday, 8 July 2019

Danish Genetics have launched a new initiative in order to speed up the genetic progress by increasing the genomic selection to 100 percent of the purebred breeding animals. The result will be more than 30 percent raise in the genetic development. The more accurate DNA data and large amount of genotyped breeding animals lead to better breeding decision-making as genomic selection promises higher accuracy for selecting breeding animals, as well as greater possibility of selecting for new breeding traits.

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During the last year, the Danish pig breeding company Danish Genetics have introduced and invested in several productive genetic initiatives in pursuit of sustained growth, which aim to increase the production value for pork producers all over the world.

The latest initiative is the introduction of 100 percent genomic selection from the population’s tested breeding animals. The aim is to create an even faster and more efficient genetic development by the means of substantial and accurate DNA data from the breeding animals. Genomic selection increases the amount of candidate animals and increases the accuracy of selecting the favorable candidates among the breeding animals for the next generation. Therefore, the customers’ production profitability increases through greater genetic progress on economically important traits.

“Investing in development requires innovative thinking and dedication. Especially, when the aim is to create world-class breeding animals. As an international genetic company, we do our best to provide our customers with superior genetics. The secret to faster breeding development lies in the genetics and our comprehensive breeding work. In close cooperation with our genetic partner, Roslin Technologies, we focus on developing the best genetic foundation for our customers worldwide,” Lars Dall, CEO in Danish Genetics, says.

Breeding with DNA data

Danish Genetics uses tissue from the pig’s ear instead of hair for extracting DNA data. Tissue from the pig’s ear provides more DNA data of higher quality than earlier, resulting in the possibility of extracting more information to be used for genomic selection.

By using a DNA SNP-chip, specifically developed for pork production, Danish Genetics will be able to extract up to 60.000 data from the DNA of every single animal. The geneticist will relate these data to the enormous amount of phenotypic data from tested animals in breeding herds to get the genetic potential of the animals. The genomic data will be used in weekly index-calculations to ensure genetic progress towards better feed efficiency, lean body content, growth, mothering ability, robustness, among others.

“To continue with providing superior genetics, we utilize a larger scale genomic selection to increase the competitiveness of our products and provide added value to our clients. Genomic selection gives the prospect of selection for new traits such as carcass quality and robustness along with optimizing the existing economic important traits in the breeding program to further differentiate our products. Therefore, this is expected to result in better production economy for the pork producers all over the world,” senior geneticist at Danish Genetics, Mahmoud Shirali, concludes.