Finland: research on small cattle breeds regarding genomic selection

At the Finnish Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of the University of Helsinki, research of Andrei Kudinov, shows that also small cattle breeds and populations can implement genomic prediction by genotyping many cows and including data from external populations. Genomic selection or genomic evaluation is used relatively straightforward in populations with a large amount of data where there are many informative animals such as bulls with high prediction accuracy. However, in small populations having a low number of informative animals and a high level of germplasm importation use of the method might be challenging. Kudinov studied inclusion of genotyped animals with low information into the prediction, particularly use of genotyped cows. In addition, approaches to incorporate information from an external population were examined. Accuracy of genomic prediction was low, as expected, when the phenotypic and genomic data were from the Leningrad region only. Integration of the Nordic genotypes and phenotypes improved accuracy of the prediction. This external information could be used to improve prediction by the Russian farmers, but the accumulation of local genotypes must continue and certain improvements in the phenotypic recording should be done.

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