ABG-31306 Genetic Improvement of Livestock


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. H Bovenhuis
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. H Bovenhuis
prof. dr. ir. J Komen
dr. ir. HA Mulder
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. H Bovenhuis

Language of instruction:



By lectures, discussion meetings, excursions and practicals (including ICT) this course will provide advanced knowledge on genetic improvement schemes in livestock and companion animals. The advanced knowledge includes theory on breeding goal definition, breeding value estimation and selection and mating systems. Emphasis is on underlying genetic models and prediction and evaluation of genetic and inbreeding trends.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- derive multiple trait selection indices and the corresponding accuracy of selection for simple situations;
- derive breeding goals based on information on economic and societal properties of the production system;
- estimate breeding values from small data sets using the mixed model equations;
- explain the underlying principles of genomic selection and its consequences for the structure of breeding programs;
- predict the rate of genetic improvement of alternative breeding programs;
- understand and discuss the consequences of different structures of breeding programs on the response to selection and the rate of inbreeding;
- explain and quantify the effect of selection on the genetic variance (Bulmer effect);
- explain the reduced selection intensity due to small groups of candidates and correlated index values of candidates.


- lectures;
- practicals;
- discussion meetings;
- (ICT-)practicals.


Attendance to practicals and excursion is obligatory and allows participation in the written exam.
The final mark for the cours is based on the exam and case study.


Lecture notes, practicals; study guide.
Information will be provided via ICT-webpages.

Restricted Optional for: MASAnimal SciencesMScA: Genetics and Biodiversity2MO