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An article by AGBU PhD student, Sarita Guy, on Breeding Focus 2016 and the Pig Genetics Workshop has been published in the Australian Pork Newspaper.

AGBU has just hosted Breeding Focus 2016 Improving Welfare. Discussions covered cattle, sheep, pigs, ethics and crocodiles. Have a look at photos and comments on our facebook and twitter links.

Breeding Focus 2014: Improving Resilience
This industry workshop was held at the end of October 2014 and provided a discussion forum for over 40 scientists, breeders and representatives from the livestock and aquaculture industries.

The topics presented at the workshop have been published as a book “Breeding Focus 2014 – Improving resilience” which can be purchased from AGBU. Abstracts of the papers are available as a pdf and individual papers can also be downloaded.

 

Breeding Focus Workshop 2014

Improving Resilience

What is resilience in animal and aquaculture breeding? How does resilience differ from robustness, adaptation, tolerance, resistance or genotype by environment interactions in breeding applications? How does resilience of animals and of fish relate to productivity traits which have received most attention in breeding programs to date in all species?

Technology transfer relies on an active engagement of researchers with industry to enable a two-way exchange that keeps researchers up to date with current industry issues and informs industry stake holders of the latest research relevant for their business. The AGBU pig genetics workshops have been conducted since 1991 starting with an emphasis on the use of PIGBLUP, the genetic evaluation system used by most Australian pig breeding companies and then shifting towards specific research outcomes related to all aspects of pig genetics. This has been a unique opportunity for the pig industries to stay up-to-date with current genetic research. The challenges faced by individual breeding operations are similar across species, including livestock and aquaculture, and cross-fostering of ideas as well as sharing discussions between industries are beneficial and desirable. As a result, ‘Breeding Focus 2014’ was developed to extend this opportunity for exchange between industry and research to livestock and aquaculture species. Genetic improvement of resilience is the topic for Breeding Focus 2014. It is our aim in the future to address other topics of interest as an on-going series of Breeding Focus.

In animal breeding, disease resilience refers to the ability of an animal to maintain production at a given level of infection. It is noteworthy, that disease resilience in this definition is used synonymously with productivity. The concept of disease resilience can be further extended to a broader definition of resilience, e.g. environmental resilience. It generally characterises the ability of an animal to recover from any type of setback and return to an acceptable level of performance that optimises productivity and profitability for a wide range of challenging circumstances. Although the challenges faced by various species may differ between industries, the mechanisms and principles applied to breed animals with improved ability to bounce back from various challenges may be similar across species. As animal breeders, we benefit from exchanging ideas about pathways and approaches to breed for improved resilience. It is the aim of this workshop and book to discuss and outline industry experiences and strategies for genetic improvement of resilience of animals.

Chapter 1 Breeding disease resilient pigs    Susanne Hermesch

Chapter 2 Inferring genetic resilience of animals to infectious pathogens – opportunities and pitfalls    Andrea B. Doeschl-Wilson and Graham Lough

Chapter 3 On-farm measures to monitor the health and immune status of pigs    Alison M. Collins

Chapter 4 Immune competence in livestock    Brad C. Hine, Bonnie A. Mallard, Aaron B. Ingham and Ian G. Colditz

Chapter 5 Performance and resilience of poultry in Thailand    Siriporn Tongsiri and M. Gilbert Jeyaruban

Chapter 6 Breeding Sydney rock oysters and its effects on resilience    Wayne A. O’Connor, Michael C. Dove, Emma L. Thompson, Laura M. Parker, Pauline M. Ross and David A. Raftos

Chapter 7 Breeding barramundi for resilience in the face of global climate change    Dean R. Jerry, Carolyn S.K. Smith-Keune, Lauren Hodgson and Jeremy van der Waal

Chapter 8 Genetic variation of handling resilience of Tasmanian Atlantic salmon affected by amoebic gill disease (AGD)    Richard S. Taylor, Peter D. Kube, Brad S. Evans and Nick G. Elliott

Chapter 9 Resilience, tolerance, robustness and genotype x environment interaction in Merino sheep breeding    Sonja Dominik and Andrew A. Swan

Chapter 10 Robustness as a breeding objective for sheep in New Zealand    Mark J. Young and Beverley C. Thomson

Chapter 11 Breeding for resilience and resistance in Merino sheep     Sam F. Walkom and Daniel J. Brown

For further information, please contact Susanne (susanne.hermesch@removeme.une.edu.au)