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Irene van den Berg: Using sequence data to increase the accuracy of genomic prediction in dairy cattle

Using sequence data to increase the accuracy of genomic prediction in dairy cattle PhD defence, Monday 7 September 2015. Irene van den Berg.

Irene van den Berg

During her PhD studies, Irene van den Berg researched the use of sequence data for genomic prediction in dairy cattle. Sequence data could improve the accuracy of genomic selection, mainly because it contains variants that directly influence quantitative traits and variants strongly linked to them. This could be especially beneficial in situations where the accuracy of genomic selection is currently limited, such as across breed and multi breed prediction. Multi breed prediction would allow breeds with smaller datasets to use information from breeds with larger datasets and thereby improve prediction accuracy.

In her dissertation, Irene van den Berg investigated how sequence variants can improve genomic prediction of dairy cattle. Largest improvements were expected when only variants very close to the causative mutations were used, and therefore, a large part of the thesis focused on the identification of such variants. Finally, the detected variants were used for genomic prediction, resulting in up to 10% increases in prediction reliability. The results show that sequence variants have the potential to improve genomic prediction, especially in a multi breed setting, but that it is important to use only variants close to the causative mutations.

The PhD degree was completed at the GABI unit at AgroParisTech and INRA, and the Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé is prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Monday 7 September 2015, at 14.30
Place: 16 rue Claude Bernard, AgroParisTech, Paris, France
Title of dissertation: The use of whole sequence data for genomic selection in dairy cattle
Contact information: Irene van den Berg, e-mail: irene.vandenberg@mbg.au.dk, tel.: +45 8715 4984
Members of the assessment committee:
Senior Scientist Allessandra Stella, Parco Tecnologico Padano, Italy
Senior Scientist Mario Calus, Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Head of Genetics Division Laurent Journaux, Institut de l’Elevage, France
Senior Scientist Didier Boichard, UMR GABI, INRA, France
Professor Just Jensen (chair), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Professor Etienne Verrier, UMR GABI, AgroParisTech, France
Main supervisors:
Senior Scientist Didier Boichard, UMR GABI, INRA, France
Professor Mogens Sandø Lund, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1521, room 112, 8000 Aarhus C.