In Brazil, practically all buffalo milk production is used to produce "mozzarella" cheese. In these circumstances, the economic value of buffalo milk not only depends on the amount of milk produced, but also of its constitution in terms of fat, protein and total solids. The identification of genes responsible for phenotypic variation of economic important traits is a crucial step to develop alternative methods for selecting superior genotypes. Comparing to traditional selection, based only on phenotypic and pedigree records, adding molecular information in genetic evaluations will increase genetic gains due to higher selection intensity and lower generation interval. Moreover, it will be possible to decrease evaluation costs, for example in progeny testing. Recently, with the development of panels with thousands of SNP markers (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) for bovines, the genomic selection has become attractive for traits measured in a single-sex and/or high cost of measurement, such as milk yield and its constituents. The objective of this project will be test the equivalence of the high density SNP bead chip developed for cattle in buffalo in order to identify polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the following traits, somatic cell count, milk yield, fat, protein and total solids, and also to develop methodologies and models for genomic selection.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: