Course code LauZ4244

Credit points 5

Animal Breeding and Breeding Plans

Total Hours in Course200

Number of hours for lectures32

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes48

Independent study hours120

Date of course confirmation29.01.2019

Responsible UnitInstitute of Animal Science

Course developers

author prof.

Līga Paura

Dr. agr.

author prof.

Daina Jonkus

Dr. agr.

Course abstract

The course aims are to provide students with an understanding of genetic principles underlying animal improvement and sustainably using them. The course then covers an introduction to quantitative genetics, maximising a response to selection, crossbreeding, estimation of genetic parameters and breeding values, mode of inheritance, mating systems, animal diversity, breeding programs. Examples will be drawn from Latvian livestock industries.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

After completing the course student will have:
• Knowledge: knowledge and understandings about the domesticated animals economic and genetic quality estimation and method for their using; knowledge about animal pure breed and hybridization breeding plans (the practical works are developed, homeworks are developed, assessment tests are successfully written the theory exam, successfully passed).
• Skills: essential communication skills in the principles of quantitative genetics in selection and mating, estimation and prediction of the genetic gain and breeding value estimations in animal populations, to use previous topics in breeding plans (the practical works are developed, home works are developed, assessment tests are successfully written).
• Competence: to realize project work; define and critically analyse the project results. The ability of consulting and cooperating with colleagues, biologically trained people and herd managers (home works are developed and defended, assessment tests are successfully written, successfully passed the theory exam).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Introduction to animal breeding. Domestication of animals. Livestock animals. [L – 2]
2. Livestock animals’ ontogenesis and phylogenesis. Growth and development. Interior. Exterior. Conditions. Productivity, productivity evaluation. [P – 3]
3 Statistical methods in animal breeding: measures of variation, correlation, regression, ANOVA. [L – 2, P – 3]
4. Statistical analysis of quantitative traits. [L – 2, P – 3]
5. Genetic parameters of quantitative traits: variance, heritability, genetic correlation. [L – 2, P – 4]
6. Long-term response to selection. Factors affecting selection. Direct and indirect selection. [L – 2, P – 3]
1st test: Genetic parameters of quantitative traits, direct and indirect selection. [P – 3]
7. Mating strategies. Random and assortative mating. [L – 2, P – 3]
8. Purebreeding and crossbreeding. [L – 2]
9. Purebreeding. Inbreeding, outbreeding, relationship. Inbreeding depression. [L – 2, P – 3]
10. Crossbreeding. Crossbreeding systems, effects of heterosis. [L – 2, P – 3]
11. Computational techniques in animal breeding – elements of matrix algebra, statistical models. [L – 2, P – 3]
12. Mixed linear model. Henderson mixed model for breeding value estimation. [L – 3, P – 4]
13. Breeding value estimation. Selection index. BLUP "animal model". [L – 3, P – 4]
14. Design of breeding programs. Purebreeding programs. [L – 2, P – 3]
15. Crossbreeding programs. Use of crossbreeding programs in Livestock. [L – 2, P – 3]
16. Selection organisation and information systems. [L – 2]
2nd test: mating and breeding value estimation. [P – 3]

Requirements for awarding credit points

Examination. Examination include a theoretical subjects acquired during the study course and a practical tasks on the course subjects.
All practical works and two tests should be executed. Two home works has been developed and public defended.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

The organization of independent work during the semester is independently studying literature, using academic staff member consultations. Home works has been developed and public defended. Two home works: animal breeding methods for the real data analysis should be used.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Exam evaluation depends of the semester cumulative assessment: 1st test – 15%, 2nd test – 15%, home works – 10% and written examination during the session – 60%. Students who have a cumulative assessment of the study course less than 4 or wish to improve it (at least 4) hold the complex exam during the session. The exam includes practical part (40%) and theory (60%).

Compulsory reading

1. Grīslis Z., Garkāvijs F., Sprūžs J. Lopkopība. Rīga: Zvaigzne, 1991. 356 lpp.
2. Falconer, D.S. Mackay T.F.C. Introduction to Quantitative Genetics. 4th edition. Edinburgh: Longman Limited, 1996. 464 p.
3. Bourdon, R.M. Understanding Animal Breeding: Pearson New International Edition. Pearson education limited, 2014. 513 p. [LF, Dzīvnieku zinātņu institūts, 1 eks.]

Further reading

1. Lynch M., Walsh B. Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits. USA: Sinauer Association, Inc., 1998. 980 p. 2. Mrode, R.A. Linear models for the prediction of animal breeding value. CAB International, 1996. 187 p.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics. Wiley. Online ISSN: 1439-0388.
2. Archiv fur Tierzucht-Archives of Animal Breeding. Herausgeber Forschungsinstitut fur die Biologie landwirtschaftliche Nuztiere (FBN), Dummerstorf. ISSN 0003-9438.


Field professional specialization course for Bachelor study programme “Agriculture”, specialisation “Zootechnician in Breeding”