A Look Ahead Mate Selection (LAMS) scheme is developed with the objective of maximising phenotypic merit in each of the next two generations. This is of most value where non-additive effects are of importance, such as heterosis, inbreeding or non-additive QTL effects. The method is developed on the basis of a crossbreeding scenario, but it can be applied to any situation for which appropriate merit functions can be derived. Earlier work aimed just two generations ahead, but this can be suboptimal for non-additive effects, as ‘investment matings’ (such as generation of first cross females) are not properly exploited, due to lack of incentive to generate merit in the following generation. The method developed is tactical, in that it uses prevailing animal resources and generates a mate selection solution which constitutes the breeding decisions for the current mating. Integer programming and genetic algorithms can be used to find optimal solutions, but animal grouping strategies may be required to give realistic computing times.

R. K Shepherd, Brian P Kinghorn

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 25: Lactation; growth and efficiency; meat quality; role of exotic breeds in the tropics; design of village breeding programs; n, , 431–438, 1998
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