Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Genetic evaluation of lifetime production

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.02.00  Biotechnical sciences  Animal production   

Code Science Field
B400  Biomedical sciences  Zootechny, animal husbandry, breeding 
livestock, longevity, lifetime production, heritability, sustainable agriculture, animal welfare
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (10)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  05096  MSc Marko Čepon  Animal production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  453 
2.  28177  Tina Flisar  Animal production  Technician  2007 - 2009  129 
3.  24769  PhD Gregor Gorjanc  Animal production  Junior researcher  2007 - 2009  460 
4.  06537  PhD Dragomir Kompan  Animal production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  740 
5.  20025  PhD Andreja Komprej  Animal production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  145 
6.  09755  PhD Milena Kovač  Animal production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  1,187 
7.  19045  PhD Špela Malovrh  Animal production  Principal Researcher  2007 - 2009  863 
8.  17027  PhD Klemen Potočnik  Animal production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  529 
9.  28180  PhD Mojca Simčič  Animal production  Technician  2007 - 2009  369 
10.  00921  PhD Silvester Žgur  Animal production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  459 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  63,757 
The main objective of the project is study of traits related to longevity for dairy cattle, succler cows, dairy sheep, and pigs. These traits gain more and more attention in breeding programmes around the world since they are related to herd profitability on one side, as well as to health, robustness, animal welfare, and quality of animal products on the other side, especially where they care about sustainable development in animal breeding. Longevity and lifetime production were not investigated yet from genetic aspects in our populations. For this purpose, we intend to genetically evaluate traits mentioned above: to develop and verify statistical models, to estimate variance and covariance components, to prepare prototype of prediction of breeding values, and to determine correlation with other traits. Methodology of survival analysis and proportional hazards model with assumed Weibull distribution will be used for longevity and for lifetime production, different linear mixed models and REML methodology will be applied. Results will be compared among species and genetic backgroud of longevity and lifetime production will be highlighted in Slovenian populations of cattle, sheep, and pigs.
Significance for science
Results from the project help in discovering of genetic background from quantitative genetic point of view for traits related to longevity and lifetime production in Slovenian populations of cattle, sheep, and pigs, as well as relation to the traits which are potential early predictors of longevity. Genetic and non-genetic covariance components were estimated, as well as statistical models for genetic evaluation were developed for breeding value prediction. Importance of other (non-genetic) factors which affect the longevity/lifetime production were studied. The software was developed within free and open-code statistical package R, which can make handling with longevity/lifetime production data easier to other researchers in the field of quantitative genetic an animal production.
Significance for Slovenia
Inclusion of longevity and lifetime production among breeding objectives for analyzed species (cattle, sheep, and pigs) are reasonable, because these traits have direct effect on economics of production. Thus, results of the project have positive socio-economic effect on farmers. Beside economic effect, positive effect is also expected on welfare and health of animals, what is further related to food safety and quality of animal products. Results of the project are applicable in practice, since selected models and dispersion parameters are base for genetic evaluation within breeding programs for each species. Results can help to upgrade Slovenian breeding programs for cattle, sheep and pigs, and thus affect on progress of Slovenian livestock production. The usage of results indicates higher competitiveness in comparison to other breeding programs.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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