Abstract

Where have we come with breeding for methane emissions – update from international collaborations Climate change is a growing international concern and it is well established that release of greenhouse gases (GHG) is a contributing factor. So far, within animal production, there is little or no concerted effort on long-term breeding strategies to mitigate GHG from ruminants. In recent years, several consortia have been formed to collect and combine data for genetic evaluation. Discussion areas of these consortia focus on (1) What are genetic parameters for methane (CH4) emissions, (2) What proxies can be used to assess CH4 emission, and (3) What are the prospects of breeding for lower emitting animals? The estimated genetic parameters show that enteric CH4 is a heritable trait, and that it is highly genetically correlated with DMI. So far, the most useful proxies relate to feed intake, milk mid-infrared spectral data, and fatty acid concentrations in milk. To be able to move forward with a genetic evaluation and ranking of animals for CH4 emission, international collaboration is essential to make progress in this area. Collaboration is not only in terms of sharing ideas, experiences and phenotypes, but also in terms of coming to a consensus regarding what phenotype to collect and to select for. Keywords: greenhouse gas emission, enteric methane, genetic control

Yvette de Haas, Eileen Wall, Phil Garnsworthy, Björn Kuhla, Enyew Negussie, Jan Lassen

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Challenges - Environmental, , 810, 2018
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