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Maximizing Green Grass Breeding by Second Generation Genomic Selection - GreenSelect

  • Funded by: GUDP 
  • AU Head of project: Luc Janss
  • Business partner: DLF-TRIFOLIUM A/S
  • Project period: 01.07.2015-30.06.2019
  • Grant: 13.498.547 DKK

Project description:

The purpose of this project is to accelerate the development of rye grass breeds that can reduce the annual excess of nitrogen from Danish grass fields and the annual emission of methane from cattle. At the same time, the improved traits of the breeds will strengthen the economy of the individual farm holding through increased milk production and through reduced fertiliser costs. Our hypothesis is that these advances can be obtained through the development of second-generation genomic selection (2GS), making it possible to predict how well two or more parent plants fit together in a crossbreeding (their combination value). Our studies (ForageSelect) have shown that GS can be implemented with a large efficiency in grass improvement, but have also revealed that with new initiatives it is possible to obtain substantially higher yields. These initiatives include calculation of combination values, integration of more layers of information in the individual improvement lines (genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics profiling), as well as development of add-ons taking GxE interactions between breeds and environment into consideration. The traits we are focusing on are utilization of nitrogen and digestibility, in particular in the last cuts where the feed value drops significantly. Breeds with improved traits will be marketed under a collective brand ”GreenSelect”, and will strengthen DLF-Trifolium’s position in Denmark, EU and other markets for temperated grasses.