The Animal Selection, Genetics & Genomics Network is a forum for scientists exploring the impact of genetic technologies for managing livestock greenhouse gas emissions.

Using genetics to mitigate methane emissions from ruminant livestock requires a significant resource of different breeds and species, and access to unique scientific skills. The Animal Selection, Genetics and Genomics Network (ASGGN) of the Livestock Research Group offers an environment for scientists from around the world to share information and data.

Recent achievements by Network members are:

The Network is currently focused on:

  • Common protocols for the measurement of individual methane emissions (and associated traits, or at least calibrations of measurement differences between countries)
  • Co-measurement of appropriate correlated and productive traits that could serve as proxies measured on a large (national) scale
  • Formalised protocols for the collection and storage of data (including direct and indirect phenotypes, DNA, and rumen samples (if available)) from all animals measured
  • Criteria for data sharing, combining and analysis (including meta-analysis among all contributing parties).

The Network is also looking at developing a potential study on breeding goals and how they differ globally, and developing a better biological understanding of heritability. It is also interested in the role of genetics in adapting to climate change, including identifying knowledge gaps for further research.

The most recent Network meeting was held February 2018 in the margins of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production in Auckland, New Zealand.

Suzanne Rowe

AgResearch

New Zealand

suzanne.rowe@agresearch.co.nz