Surfing the net, brought up a paper from the editorial board of Genetics selection evolution journal (Genetic Selection Evolution’s Editorial, 2019) to my attention on perspectives research areas that probably they are the direction of future studies in Animal breeding:
- Studies on whole genome sequencing, targeted sequencing, exome sequencing, genotyped by sequencing in order to dissect the genetic architecture of quantitative traits and help us build a universal genomic prediction method.
- Statistical models for analysis of quantitative traits to integrate more biological information, in particular, biological, functional, or more generally “Omics” data.
- Studies on non-additive genetic effects, on intra- and trans-generational epigenetics, and on the microbiome (metagenomics). Future studies will show whether these two sources can improve the prediction of quantitative phenotypes and measure similarity between individuals.
- Developing new analytical methods for precision farming for analysis of large amounts of phenotypes (thousands or more per animal), e.g., spectra (in milk, blood, etc.), automatic feed consumption recording, kynetics (with accelerometers), milk flow in milking robots, imaging data for animal tracking and behavior, GPS data and pregnancy test outcomes in cattle raised in extensive conditions, abattoir measurements of carcass quality, etc.
- Application of genome editing in understanding the genome function, as well as understanding the genetic control of traits.
- Study on new selection objectives to produce animal more resilient, more resistant to disease, and better adapted to expected global changes and to more sustainable production systems
- Studies on trade-off between selection and management of diversity
- Animal domestication in light of recent contributions from ancient genomics and also changing in genetic diversity and selection pressure due to global warming (Frantz et al., 2020).
I have also found a series of interesting papers in the Volume 10, Issue 2 of Animal Frontiers journal (Baes and Schenkel, 2020, Chang et al., 2020, Cole et al., 2020, Seidel et al., 2020) on the future of Phenomics in livestock science. These articles showcasing how phenomics will impact livestock production in the future. Collecting high-throughput phenotypic and environmental data create a significant amount of opportunities and also challenges for livestock production researches. These data provide opportunities since they help us in better understanding of the phenome, as well as advances to economically important traits for Precision livestock management. On the other hand, they generate challenges such as data processing, analysis of high dimensional data and increasing complexity and unknown or potentially undesirable genetic correlations between different traits in the breeding goal.
Baes, C. and F. Schenkel. 2020. The Future of Phenomics. Animal Frontiers 10:4-5.
Chang, Y., L. F. Brito, A. B. Alvarenga, and Y. Wang. 2020. Incorporating temperament traits in dairy cattle breeding programs: challenges and opportunities in the phenomics era. Animal Frontiers 10:29-36.
Cole, J. B., S. A. E. Eaglen, C. Maltecca, H. A. Mulder, and J. E. Pryce. 2020. The future of phenomics in dairy cattle breeding. Animal Frontiers 10:37-44.
Frantz, L. A. F., D. G. Bradley, G. Larson, and L. Orlando. 2020. Animal domestication in the era of ancient genomics. Nature Reviews Genetics.
Genetic Selection Evolution’s Editorial, B. 2019. GSE’s 50th anniversary: where do we go from now? Genetics Selection Evolution 51:66.
Seidel, A., N. Krattenmacher, and G. Thaller. 2020. Dealing with complexity of new phenotypes in modern dairy cattle breeding. Animal Frontiers 10:23-28.