CORDIS
EU research results

CORDIS

English EN
Genomic Selection for Pasture Digestibility

Genomic Selection for Pasture Digestibility

Objective

Breeding for improved perennial ryegrass (PRG) cultivars to support pastoral based production systems for milk and meat is a critically important goal. However, genetic gains for traits such as forage yield and quality have very much lagged behind genetic gain for agronomic traits in cereals. One reason for this is the long breeding cycle in a typical PRG breeding programme, where a single cycle of selection can take 5-6 years. Genomic selection (GS) is a form of marker assisted selection that simultaneously estimates all loci, haplotype, or marker effects across the entire genome to calculate Genomic Estimated Breeding Values (GEBVs). The main advantage that GS could offer PRG breeding is to enable multiple cycles of selection to be achieved in the same time it takes to do a single cycle of conventional selection, thereby increasing the rate of genetic gain. Improving digestibility of the forage leads to an increase in animal performance, and is therefore an important target trait for forage breeders. Furthermore, it has already been shown that increases in organic matter digestibility can reduce methane emissions. Reducing methane emissions is a key target of the EUs climate and energy policy. In this action I will focus on developing and validating GS equations for feed parameters that are being used as model inputs into the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS). This CNCPS is currently being adapted to predict nutritional value to the grazing animal in pasture based production systems, and it is envisaged that it will be able to identify feed parameters limiting milk-solid production and thereby direct future forage breeding efforts. The work of this action will lead to a novel and innovative forage breeding programme that can select for multiple feed parameters to develop the ideal forage cultivars for pasture production systems.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

TEAGASC - AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Address

Oak Park
R93 Carlow

Ireland

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 196 590,72

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 841882

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    20 April 2020

  • End date

    19 April 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 196 590,72

  • EU contribution

    € 196 590,72

Coordinated by:

TEAGASC - AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Ireland