The overall objective of the GplusE project is to develop and exploit genomic data and analytical tools, new phenotyping approaches and breeding strategies for sustainable dairy production systems.
The project has six complementary major specific objectives.
- To develop and validate new, easily-measured phenotypes that can supplement or correlate with and replace traditional phenotypes (milk yield and composition, fertility, product quality, traditional disease and fertility records).
- To identify novel genomic markers, including causative mutations, for the key phenotypic traits (productivity, efficiency, environmental footprint, health, fertility and animal welfare) that can be used for GS.
- To generate ENCODE-like data for the bovine as a public resource that can be used for both GS in dairy cattle and to increase understanding of genotype/phenotype associations across all species.
- To define the key interacting problems that contribute to management of dairy cows under different systems that will allow the building and validation of an appropriate management blueprint based on Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Evolutionary Operations (EVOP) principles.
- To develop new breeding and management strategies that incorporates the new genomic information attaching to the common currency phenotypic data established through the project.
- To disseminate the information widely to producers, consumers and the scientific community and to use the project to train a new generation of young scientists in the specialism of bio-informatics.
Together this will support significant improvements in production efficiency, physiological status, health and cow welfare that will promote a more efficient and sustainable dairy industry with a reduced environmental footprint.