SMARTER will develop and deploy innovative strategies to improve Resilience and Efficiency (R&E) related traits in sheep and goats. SMARTER will find these strategies by: i) generating and validating novel R&E related traits at a phenotypic and genetic level ii) improving and developing new genome-based solutions and tools relevant for the data structure and size of small ruminant populations, iii) establishing new breeding and selection strategies for various breeds and environments that consider R&E traits .
SMARTER with help from stakeholders chose several key R&E traits including feed efficiency, health (resistance to disease, survival) and welfare. Experimental populations will be used to identify and dissect new predictors of these R&E traits and the trade-off between animal ability to overcome external challenges. SMARTER will estimate the underlying genetic and genomic variability governing these R&E related traits. This variability will be related to performance in different environments including genotype-by-environment interactions (conventional, agro-ecological and organic systems) in commercial populations. The outcome will be accurate genomic predictions for R&E traits in different environments across different breeds and populations. SMARTER will also create a new cooperative European and international initiative that will use genomic selection across countries. This initiative will make selection for R&E traits faster and more efficient. SMARTER will also characterize the phenotype and genome of traditional and underutilized breeds. Finally, SMARTER will propose new breeding strategies that utilise R&E traits and trade-offs and balance economic, social and environmental challenges.
The overall impact of the multi-actor SMARTER project will be ready-to-use effective and efficient tools to make small ruminant production resilient through improved profitability and efficiency.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeRIA - Research and Innovation action
70 000 Colonia
49800 Toro, Zamora
CV8 2LG Lanark Lanarkshire
WC1N 2EB London