ADSA 2022: Genetic Perspectives

Written by CDCB

July 20, 2022

ADSA 2022: Genetic Perspectives

CDCB geneticists attending the 2022 American Dairy Science Association® annual meeting – in Kansas City and virtual – share their takeaways from the premier gathering of dairy scientists.

RODRIGO MOTA, CDCB Applied Geneticist

Top takeaways?
The search for NEW traits and/or tools (i.e., intermediate correlated features such as high-throughput or omics phenotypes) must continue in order to improve genetic evaluations.
International collaboration may be the key to improve sustainability evaluations in dairy cattle through data exchange.
Several new traits were presented to be heritable and possibly included in genomic evaluations worldwide.

Most thought-provoking presentation?
“International collaboration to improve sustainability and resilience in dairy: Current and future studies” by Cristine Baes. She brought the importance of collaboration among countries to collect more data specially for less data traits as resilience.
CDCB application of learnings?
CDCB may play a crucial role by working with universities and the dairy industry to keep phenotyping, exchange phenotypes for these complex traits, and come up with new ideas to incorporate new tools and traits that will help to improve the current evaluations.

FIONA GUINAN, Ph.D. Fellow and former CDCB Intern

Top takeaways?
Integrated, interdisciplinary collaboration among animal, computer and social scientists, along with engineers, will be crucial to ensure we can feed a growing population and meet consumer needs.
There was a heavy emphasis on feed efficiency and animal health and welfare, and increased interest in new traits and evaluations related to genotype by environment interaction, such as heat tolerance.
There were multiple talks and a symposium about opportunities for Artificial Intelligence in dairy production systems – computer vision systems, speech-to-text, and mixed reality for high throughput phenotyping and animal monitoring. It is an exciting time to work with big data from multiple sources, and there are many opportunities to extract additional information for producers.

Most thought-provoking presentation?
Dr. Andrés Legarra presented “Genomic evaluation methods to include intermediate correlated features such as high-throughput or omics phenotypes” in the opening Breeding and Genetics Symposium. “GOBLUP” was presented as an innovative method to capture the value of intermediate phenotypes such as milk infrared spectra to predict additional traits of importance.
CDCB application of learnings?
CDCB can continue to evaluate and develop complex traits related to health, environment, and sustainability through collaboration across dairy expertise. The collection of calf health data is another area of interest.

DUANE NORMAN, CDCB Technical Advisor and Industry Liaison

Top takeaways?
U.S. dairy should consider how to address fertility if timed A.I. becomes unfavorable as a result of consumer resistance.
Genetic resistance to Leucosis is feasible, heritability estimate was 9%.
Using foreign evaluations helped improve the accuracy of our domestic evaluations

Most thought-provoking presentation?

  • One addressing climate neutrality issues in the California dairy industry

 CDCB application of learnings?

  • CDCB can assist dairy producers concerning the large segment of cows and heifers bred to beef bulls, i.e., Sire Conception Rate on individual beef bulls

GEORGE WIGGANS, CDCB Technical Advisor

Most thought-provoking presentation?
“Emerging reproduction technologies,” by Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam of University of California-Davis, particularly the possibility of doing selection on cell lines so generational progress does not even require production of animals
CDCB application of learnings?
The widespread experience with single-step evaluations provides further support for CDCB to eventually adopt this technology.

JOÃO DÜRR, Chief Executive Officer

Top takeaway?
It was a good feeling to walk into the breeding and genetics session and see that most researchers in the room have been working directly with CDCB projects or with data provided by CDCB. The national cooperator database is being used to support research and add value to the industry as a whole.
Most thought-provoking presentations?

The joint symposium, Genomics on Reproduction, was quite interesting with views from reproductive physiologists on the impact of genomic selection for reproductive efficiency. All presenters seem to agree that traits such as CDCB SCR, HCR, CCR are effectively being used to improve reproductive potential in our main breeds. This validates the methods and trait definitions proposed by the AGIL group years ago and still applied today.

Duane Norman’s paper on haplotypes was also very interesting, because it shows use of CDCB tools to modify the allele frequencies in the population and decrease carriers of undesirable recessives
How can CDCB apply new learnings?
Papers on single-step methods show that we are getting closer to introducing these methods into CDCB evaluations. While a few research questions must be addressed, the tests carried out by University of Georgia with CDCB data show much progress.