This paper reports three different studies conducted on dairy cattle and swine that aim at modelling genotype by environment interactions (GxE) in livestock. The first study was conducted on the US Holstein dairy cattle population. Four productive traits were analysed for estimating proportion of variance explained by genomic, environment, and genomic by environment interaction. Environment was defined according to different variables, either climatic, geographic or related to the management and performance of the herd. Results show a sizable amount of phenotypic variation is explained by GxE, and models that account for GxE can have better predictive performance. The second contribution reports a study aimed at estimating the genomic background of sow tolerance to heat stress. Four large, independent nucleus populations for two companies were analysed. Results show that sizable genotype by environmental stress interaction exists and that is can be mapped on the pig genome when a large number of genotyped individuals is available. The third study is aimed at modelling genotyped by (gut) enterotype interaction in a commercial crossbred population. More than one thousand records for five carcass traits were used. Individuals generated from 28 paternal half-sibs families and raised in a commercial tester facility were split according to the gut enterotype they showed 15 weeks after weaning. Their phenotypic records for the carcass traits were considered as 2 distinct traits whether they individual showed one or the other enterotype. Results show that the genetic correlation for performance conditional on the enterotype can be less than unity for some traits. This suggests that the gut enterotype is capable of influencing the pig in expressing the growth genetic potential, which suggest a sizable genotype by enterotype interaction. This paper suggests that the present of GxE should be investigated and perhaps incorporated in livestock breeding for precision farming. In some cases this modelling comes at no cost, e.g. weather records from the USA are freely available online. This represent a ‘low hanging fruit’ in animals breeding which will definitely help the development of future breeding programs. Keywords: genotype by environment interaction, genomic selection, heat stress, gut microbiome.

Francesco Tiezzi, Miranda Bryan, Duc Lu, Clint Schwab, Kent Gray, Christian Maltecca

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Challenges - Genotype by Environment Interactions, , 681, 2018
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