VikingNews Global 2-2019 FINAL - Page 11



chance to become the sires of the next
generation. We also use a few foreign
bulls. Genomic testing of all animals in a
herd is done on many herds today, which
certainly contributes to VikingGenetics
finding good bulls in many of these
herds. This high degree of variation in
the bulls’ pedigree is the first indicator
that we have inbreeding under control.
Inbreeding control
To control the balance between genetic
progress and inbreeding, VikingGenetics
uses an optimisation programme called
EVA (EVolutionary Algorithm). The
results from the programme are included in the total evaluation both when it
comes to selecting females for the
embryo transfer programme and when
purchasing the next generation of bulls.
It is a very useful programme that is also
used in the breeding programmes for
pigs, elks and fish. One of the results
from the EVA programme shows
inbreeding in the population.
Figure 2 shows the degree of
inbreeding measured in a dataset
consisting of high index animals in the
VikingGenetics area. According to the
Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO),
a population is sustainable if inbreeding
increases by less than 1% unit per
generation. In practice, this means approx. 0.4 percentage point based on the
819-day generation interval shown above.
Figure 1: Change in age of parents measured in days from 2009 to 2017
for VikingHolstein bulls.
3,000
2,500
2,000
1,500
1,000
500
0
2009
2010
2011
2012
Females
2013
2014
Males
2015
2016
2017
Average
Figure 2: The annual degree of inbreeding for VikingHolstein measured
on high index females in the Viking-Genetics region.
6
5
4
3.6
3.8
4.0
4.2
4.3
4.4
2009
2010
2011
4.6
4.8
4.8
2013
2014
5.0
5.2
5.4
5.5
2016
2017
2018
3
2
1
0
2006
2007
2008
In VikingHolstein, we have the luxury
of being able to use the local female
population actively to create long term
genetic variation along with optimal
genetic progress. This is due to both a
2012
2015
very strong market share and the fact
that VikingGenetics is the only company
selecting for NTM. At the same time, this
is also a great responsibility that we take
seriously as the numbers also show.
November 2019 | vikingnews
11

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