Type: Book

Advances in breeding of dairy cattle


Dr Julius van der Werf is Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics at the University of New England, Australia. He is co-Editor in Chief of the journal Genetics, Selection, Evolution and Associate Editor of the Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics. He is also member of the College of Experts of the Australian Research Council.

Dr Jennie Pryce is Principal Research Scientist at Agriculture Victoria Research part of the State Government of Victoria, Australia where she lead the Animal’s Programme of DairyBio. Dr Pryce is also Professor at La Trobe University, Australia.



Publication date:

24 December 2019

Length of book:

480 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786762962

Hardback - £190.00
Request Permissions


This collection reviews the latest research on dairy cattle genetics and advanced methods of genetic evaluation and selection.

After an overview of genetic improvements achieved so far, Part 1 assesses the problem of inbreeding and genetic diversity in modern dairy cattle as well as opportunities for crossbreeding. Part 2 then goes onto review research on targeting non-production traits such as fertility, feed conversion efficiency and methane emissions as well as resistance to disease and resilience to heat stress.

Part 3 then surveys the latest techniques and advances in genomic selection (GS) in such areas as functional annotation and use of sequence variants to improve genomic prediction, as well as developments in genetic evaluation (GE). The final part of the book reviews developments in embryo technologies, gene editing and the way new techniques are being integrated in practice into dairy breeding programmes.

Key features

  • Particular focus on the challenges inbreeding and lack of genetic diversity in modern dairy cattle
  • Explores ways of improving non-production traits in cattle for more sustainable production
  • Detailed review of advances in genomic selection (GS), such as functional annotation and use of sequence variants to improve genomic prediction, and genetic evaluation (GE), including the use of ssGBLUP and multi-trait across-country evaluation (MACE)

What others are saying...

"Professor van de Werf and Dr Pryce are leading experts and have assembled an excellent team for a book describing the current state-of-the-art. This volume will contribute to the dissemination of advanced breeding technology to breeders, scientists and other stakeholders in the dairy industry. There is no doubt that it will also stimulate new developments in an exciting field of research."
Prof. J. A. Lenstra, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; Editor-in-Chief of Animal Genetics

Table of contents

Part 1 Managing genetic diversity
1.Genetic and phenotypic improvements in temperate dairy systems: an overview: Filippo Miglior, University of Guelph, Canada;
2.Assessing inbreeding and genetic diversity in the Holstein breed using pedigree and genomic approaches: Christine Baes, University of Guelph, Canada;
3.Genetic diversity in dairy cattle: variation within and across breeds: Kor Oldenbroek, Wageningen University, The Netherlands;
4.Opportunities for managing diversity in modern dairy cattle breeding programs: Christian Maltecca, North Carolina State University, USA;
5.Opportunities and challenges in crossbreeding dairy cattle in temperate regions: Bradley Heins, University of Minnesota, USA;

Part 2 Breeding objectives and genetics of new traits
6.Recent developments in multi-trait selection in dairy cattle breeding: Peter Amer, AbacusBio Ltd., New Zealand;
7.Advances in dairy cattle breeding to improve fertility/reproductive efficiency: Mekonnen Haile-Mariam, Agriculture Victoria Research, Australia;
8.Advances in dairy cattle breeding to improve feed conversion efficiency and methane emissions: Mike Coffey, SRUC, UK;
9.Improving phenotypic prediction in dairy cattle breeding using the metagenome: Oscar Gonzalez, INIA, Spain;
10.Advances in dairy cattle breeding to improve resistance to mastitis: John Cole, USDA-ARS, USA;
11.Advances in dairy cattle breeding to improve resistance to hoof disorders/lameness: Christa Egger-Danner, ZuchtData, Germany;
12.Use of mid infra-red spectral data to predict traits for genetic selection in dairy cattle: Nicolas Gengler, University of Liege, Belgium;
13.Advances in dairy cattle breeding to improve heat tolerance: Thuy Nguyen, Agriculture Victoria Research, Australia;
14.Advances in dairy cattle breeding to improve longevity: Roel Veerkamp, Wageningen University, The Netherlands;

Part 3 Genetic selection and evaluation
15.Developments in genomic selection (GS) in dairy cattle breeding: Flavio Schenkel, University of Guelph, Canada;
16.Linking genotype to phenotype: improving functional annotation in dairy cattle breeding: James Koltes, Iowa State University, USA;
17.Finding causal variants for monogenic traits in dairy cattle breeding: Matt Littlejohn, Livestock Improvement Corporation, New Zealand;
18.Genetic evaluation: use of genomic data in large-scale genetic evaluations in dairy cattle breeding: Joel Weller, ARO, Israel;
19.International genomic evaluation methods for dairy cattle: Peter Sullivan, Canadian Dairy Network, Canada;
20.Genetic and genomic dairy cattle evaluations in developing countries: Raphael Mrode, Scotland's Rural College, UK and International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya;

Part 4 Reproductive technologies and breeding programmes
21.Developments in the use of embryo technologies: Trudee Fair, University of College Dublin, Ireland;
22.The use of gene editing techniques in dairy cattle breeding: Alison Van Eenennaam, University of California-Davis, USA;
23.Development of dairy breeding programs: Didier Boichard, INRA, France;