The research lines are focused on the management of livestock populations from a genetic point of view, either for selection or for conservation. All genetic selection techniques are aimed at simultaneously promoting and improving the animal welfare.
The group is in charge of the breeding management of several species being available to study different performance datasets and pedigree data: from a population of laboratory mice (characters of homogeneity of weight at birth), a population of alpacas (fiber characters), a dairy cattle population (characters of milk production) and a horse breed (functional traits). For most of these populations we have also DNA samples.
Nowadays, the main research line topic is the genetic control of environmental variance to be applied in livestock breeds, being recognized the importance of the group internationally (participation in ERC projects as Feed-a-gene). Livestock production in EU faces serious challenges because farmers have to deal higher costs for compliance with legislation compared to competitors on the world market. In order to thrive, it is necessary to increase the efficiency of production by utilizing new scientific knowledge and technological development. Hence, there is an increasing interest in the homogeneity of the animal production that would decrease the cost of handling and production that ultimately would increase the profitability of the farm and increase the animal welfare.
For this main objective, nowadays we have DNA samples and it is necessary the application genomic selection techniques. Also debugging of molecular marker data of SNP type and recoding markers and animals (BIG DATA). Data simulation and the management of software for the application of genomic selection to livestock populations.