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Genomic Selection Offers Promise for Identifying Disease Resilience
Dr. Graham Plastow - University of Alberta

Farmscape for April 23, 2018

A professor of livestock genomics with the University of Alberta says the elusive trait of disease resilience in livestock can be more easily identified by through the use of genomics.
Scientists working in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc are developing new tools which use genomics enable the selection of breeding stock for disease resilience.
Dr. Graham Plastow, a Professor of Livestock Genomics with the University of Alberta, says, because resilience is such a difficult trait to identify, the use of genomics is particularly attractive.

Clip-Dr. Graham Plastow-University of Alberta:
The first step is being able to measure the phenotypes we're interested in and so we've been developing tools that can get that data on pigs.
What we're interested in is, because we're talking about genetic improvement, we're really wanting to find predictors where we can measure different components of an animal in a high health environment and then be able to predict how their offspring are going to respond when they're at the commercial level.
That's one aspect.
Once we have developed these tools and are able to measure the phenotype then we can begin to use genomics to generate or predict a breeding value for resilience, essentially at birth, so as usual we can take a blood sample, a tissue sample, semen and do a genotype test in the lab and then we can begin to select for this trait which is a novel trait that hasn't been possible to use previously.
Then the breeding companies can incorporate that into the selection goals according to their customers needs.

Dr. Plastow says disease resilience is an attractive trait.
He says if we can identify that trait through genomics, we can select for it through traditional breeding.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


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