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July - December 2019
The Interbull Steering Committee has held several meetings since the Interbull Meeting in Cincinnati in June 2019. This document contains a summary of the relevant information and decisions of these, as well as of other meetings that were held during the second half of 2019.
Interbull Strategic Planning
The current Interbull Strategic plan was established in February 2016, shortly after the current Interbull Centre Director assumed his role. Since 2016, 4 new SC members have been installed including the current Chair. The Interbull Steering Committee has decided to prepare a new Strategic Plan to ensure that the business of Interbull continues to focus on key strategic areas. Strategic Planning Sessions have been scheduled on 23 and 24 January 2020 in Uppsala. A survey has been distributed to Service Users to provide input in these sessions.
Interbull Business Funding
The Interbull Steering Committee appointed a Business Funding Models Task Force to review the current fee structure being applied to services offered by the Interbull Centre. It is expected that recommendations for future funding of Interbull Services will also be presented during the 2020 Business Meeting.
Updates on Services
GMACE Test Run Policy
The SC updated the GMACE test run policy, making participation to a GMACE test run compulsory for first-time participating countries, so that any issues can be addressed efficiently prior to participation in a GMACE Routine Run. Participation to any following GMACE test runs remains voluntary.
The first Truncated MACE (TMACE) evaluation was performed in October 2019. A total of 5 organisations provided appropriate reduced data for 3 breeds (HOL, SIM and BSW). Four-year old data, as available at the Interbull Centre, have been used for the other organisations. Truncated MACE analyses were conducted for all traits currently evaluated for the above-mentioned breeds. Genetic correlations were re-estimated, and the result reported to the participating organisations. The next TMACE evaluation is scheduled for October 2020.
Development of New Services
Results from the second IgHOL research run are currently being reviewed by the ITC. A third data call (deadline: 14 January 2020) aims to collect the latest genotypes of IgHOL Countries, as well as those of influential bulls from so-called ‘Contributing Countries’: Germany, France and DFS which have agreed to contribute genotypes to the next IgHOL evaluation. The expectation is that additional data will further improve the results, by increasing the reference population and link between countries.
In November 2019, the Interbull SC reviewed the results of the first phase of the SNPMace project. The ‘SNPMace’ method developed in this project was expected to improve the accuracy of SNP effect estimates compared with within-country SNP solutions, without the need of exchanging genotypes between countries. The SNPMace project showed the same accuracy can be achieved through the SNPMace procedure- without the use of genotype information- as through the procedure (InterGenomics) currently applied at Interbull Centre, which does require the use of genotypes, thus overcoming the need of sharing genotypes to increase accuracy. Interbull would like to build on the positive results of this first phase of the SNPMace project and develop a service to calculate the effect of SNPs using data from multiple countries. The SC, Interbull Centre, Agriculture Victoria and SNPMace Working Group are now preparing a follow up project to develop and implement such service.
Exchange of information on Genetic Traits
A service to exchange information on genetic traits through Interbull Centre’s database module ‘AnimInfo’ has been implemented, and the exchange of such data has commenced in collaboration with the World Holstein Friesian Federation (WHFF). Genetic traits information currently collected is based on the WHFF official list (www.whff.info/documentation/genetictraits.php#go1). Starting from the August 2019 routine run, all available information, together with related conflicts, have been distributed to the organisations together with the official evaluations’ results. To date, seven National Genetic Evaluation Centres have signed up for this service. National Genetic Evaluations Centres wishing to join the WHFF exchange, as well as representatives of other breeds interested in setting up such exchange for their breeds, should contact the Interbull Centre ( Interbull@slu.se ).
ICAR-Interbull 2020 Meeting 8-12 June 2019
The ICAR-Interbull 2020 Annual Meeting will be held in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. The overall theme of the meeting is: “Circular economy, impact and challenges in animal performance recording”. Registration to the Interbull Meeting includes all events on Monday 8 to Wednesday 10 June 2020, notably Interbull Open Meetings, Interbull Business Meetings, ICAR/Interbull joint session, ICAR General Assembly, ICAR plenary session and ICAR/Interbull reception. The ICAR meeting will continue on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 June 2020. Further details will become available on https://interbull.org/ib/2020_interbull_meeting and www.icar2020.nl.
Happy New Year!
The Interbull Centre is closed from 23 December 2019 until 7 January 2020.
Wishing you all the best for the Holiday Season. And looking forward to working with you in 2020.