What's New

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.



A PC based genetic evaluation system

PIGBLUP is a PC based genetic evaluation system for pigs, which analyses large data sets within minutes (more information). PIGBLUP has a Windows-based interface enabling easy and efficient operation by PIGBLUP users. Breeders do not need to understand the statistical and genetic theory in order to use PIGBLUP.

PIGBLUP uses pedigree and performance data available from your herd recording system to derive Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for a number of performance and reproductive traits.

The program displays genetic and environmental trends to monitor genetic progress and management decisions. It allows optimisation of selection for different markets and products through the $Index which combines EBVs into a single index using economic, production and marketing data.

Further PIGBLUP tools are the PBMARKER, PBSAMA and the GENETIC AUDIT which enables breeders to monitor the progress of their breeding program.

PBMARKER includes information on molecular genetic markers in genetic evaluation results. Using molecular genetic information aids selection in economically important traits. A side effect of selecting genetically superior animals is the increase in relationships among animals in the population.

PBSAMA, the PIGBLUP selection and mate allocation module, allows breeders to optimise selection and mating decisions taking rate of genetic improvement and relationships among animals into account.

The FileMerger program, distributed with the PIGBLUP software package, is a useful tool which enables breeders to convert data from one format into other data formats required for further analyses.

PIGBLUP is supported by a team of highly experienced and motivated geneticists who work closely with PIGBLUP users to accelerate the rate of genetic progress in herds thereby increasing their profitability and helping breeders make the best selection decisions for their breeding programs.

Since 2001, PIGBLUP has been the engine behind the National Pig Improvement Program (NPIP) which provides across-herd EBVs for participating herds.

In 2005, PIGBLUP went online with PBSELECT, an automated e-mail service that provides EBVs, an economic index ($Index) as well as genetic and environmental trends to pork producers. PBSELECT is of interest to producers who select replacement stock on farm and use an electronic herd recording system to record data.

PIGBLUP has been developed by The Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) since 1988 with funding from the Pig Research and Development Corporation (PRDC) which is now Australian Pork Limited.

Contact Details:
Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit
University of New England
Armidale NSW 2350

Phone: (61 2) 6773 2055
Fax: (61 2) 6773 3266