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Genetic Models for Animal Breeding
About this courseSkip About this course
Animal breeding involves the selective breeding of domestic animals with the intention to improve desirable (and heritable) qualities in the next generation. This course introduces the steps required to design a program for breeding animals and teaches the genetic and statistical concepts that are needed to build a solid breeding program.
In this course you will learn how an animal breeder balances the need for improving desirable qualities of the animals with the need for genetic diversity and long sustainability of the program. The scientific concepts in genetics that are applied in animal breeding will be explained and you will learn to apply the models and computational methods that are used in animal breeding.
Knowledge in the area of statistics at 2nd or 3rd year university level is needed to follow this course successfully.
Professionals working with animals will use the knowledge from this course to understand the impact of breeding on their populations, and will be able to include the genetic principles in their decisions. For further studies such as M.Sc. level courses in breeding and genetics, this course will allow you an advanced starting point.
Although this course is open to everyone, it is particular useful for breeders of:
Professional Certificate Program
This course is part of the Professional Certificate Program "Animal Breeding and Genetics". Join the other course in the program, Evaluating Animal Breeding Programs, and advance your career as a breeder.
The course is developed with financial support and input from the Koepon Foundation and the African Chicken Genetic Gains project.
At a glance
- Institution: WageningenX
- Subject: Biology & Life Sciences
- Level: Intermediate
The prerequisites are a high school level of mathematics and genetics and a 2nd or 3rd year university level of statistics.
- Language: English
- Video Transcript: English
- Associated programs:
- Professional Certificate in Animal Breeding and Genetics
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- The steps required in setting up a breeding program.
- Understanding of the main concepts in animal breeding.
- Applying genetic models and tools to predict the breeding value of animals.
- Applying tools to predict genetic change and/or inbreeding in populations.
- Understand the dissemination of genetic progress in different animal
Module1: Introduction to Animal Breeding
Introduction to the seven steps that are needed to set up a breeding program.
Module 2: The breeding goal
Learning the characteristics of a breeding goal and how to define a breeding goal for genetic improvement and for genetic diversity.
Module 3: Collection of information and family relationships Learning the value of information on relationships, performance, and DNA information, including the concept and consequences of inbreeding. Learning methods to quantify relationships and inbreeding.
Module 4: Genetic models
Learning the concept of genetic models and to apply suitable genetic models for different traits. Learning the genetic concepts of heritability, repeatability, common environment ratio and mendelian sampling.
Module 5: Ranking the animals
Learning to estimate the breeding value of animals, using single or multiple sources of information, including DNA information. Learning to calculate the accuracy of estimated breeding values.
Module 6: Response to selection
Learning to calculate the response to selection and knowing its key elements and consequences of trade-offs between them. To understand mating schemes and long term contributions to inbreeding.
Learner testimonialsSkip Learner testimonials
"This course is very important especially developing countries like Africa where there is no well planned Breeding policy for the different farm animals. Because of this, they couldn't get the expected production and productivity is very low."
"All the course organizers were well prepared and knowledgeable. That was very respectful of their learners and the profession of animal breeding. I can now see why Wageningen University is a leader in teaching and research of animal science!"
About the instructors
Frequently Asked QuestionsSkip Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and/or related online programmes of Wageningen University & Research? To help you find answers to your questions, we created a list with frequently asked questions about enrolling, participating in- and finishing a MOOC.