Research projects

For over 45 years AGBU scientists have been researching the genetics of livestock and how to breed better animals and plants

AGBU, Australia's genetics institute for agriculture

researching and developing systems for genetic evaluation and breeding to contribute to the improvement of productivity and product quality in Australia's livestock industry


Current research projects




HDR students


AGBU's research program encompasses

2,280,840 calves bred using BREEDPLAN in the Southern Hemisphere (1994-2012)

2,307,830 sheep evaluated in LAMBPLAN and 1,685,895 sheep evaluated in MERINOSELECT (2005-2015)

48% of all pigs farmed in Australia bred using PIGBLUP assistance

50% of Australian commercial timber bred using TREEPLAN information

Improving outcomes for rural and regional communities

Developing genetic evaluation systems that are the envy of the world

AGBU R&D reports

Some of our recently completed projects
Data Quality Metrics for Sheep Genetics and BREEDPLAN

This project developed metrics to describe the quality of data submitted to genetic evaluation systems and focused mainly on the sheep genetic evaluation systems delivered through Sheep Genetics, and the reporting of the data quality metrics in the RAMPing Up Genetic Gains reports.

DNA Traceability for red meat in Australia

Improved traceability enhances the industry’s ability to track, manage and control major exotic disease outbreaks. Using DNA to augment NLIS can lead to a range of additional benefits related to livestock evaluation, disease detection, pathway decisions, product specification and proof of provenance.

MLA L.GEN.1704

Advanced genetic evaluation tools and systems enabling faster and more genetic gain in the red meat industries.

Developments through this project have resulted in a seamless transition to the use of genomic data in the calculation of breeding values, for a greater range of traits supporting better breeding objectives.

AGBU in the media

A selection of links to find out more about our research
Repronomics Project: building and delivering effective genomic selection for northern Australian cattle.
Visit the Repronomics website for more information about the project.

Southern Multi Breed Project

Western Australia: Northern beef development

Livestock Sustainability Indexes

Merino Lifetime Productivity Project

Australian Sheep Breeding Value (ASBV)
  • MLA - September 2022

Dr Sam Walkom and Dr Andrew Swan have made a series of videos for Sheep Genetics to explain the development of SheepObject and the MERINOSELECT research indexes.

Leading Breeder 2023

Dr Steve Miller, Powering our genetic engines of the future

Dr Andrew Swan, Developing indexes - showcasing the new development of the index software

Dr Sam Walkom, Outcomes of the ALMTech project and what it means for capturing eating quality data

Dr Matt Wolcott presenting at the MLA Livestock Genetics Forum 2022 in Adelaide

Dr Steve Miller, Director of AGBU, discusses the new variance components that will be implemented in December 2022

Dr Andrew Swan, Chief Scientist, explains the algorithm used to calculate the EBV accuracy values