ABRI announces the launch of Single-Step BREEDPLAN for Simmental breeders in Australia and New Zealand

Oct 2023

The BREEDPLAN team at ABRI (Agricultural Business Research Institute) has worked collaboratively with Animal Genetics & Breeding Unit (AGBU), Australian Simmental breeders and the Simmental Cattle Breeders' Society of New Zealand to launch Simmental Single-Step BREEDPLAN. This major upgrade was implemented in the October 2023 Simmental BREEDPLAN evaluation.

The Single-Step BREEDPLAN evaluation utilises pedigree, performance, and genomic information simultaneously. The evaluation takes account of the actual genomic relationships among all the genotyped animals in the Simmental population and how those genotypes relate to the performance records collected by breeders.

“To ensure the unique structure of the Simmental population would be modelled correctly, some novel methods were developed by AGBU. These new methods were developed, validated, discussed with the clients, and then implemented in the Simmental Single-Step BREEDPLAN evaluation” explains Dr Brad Crook, BREEDPLAN Manager Genetics Research & Development.

An important feature of the Single-Step BREEDPLAN approach is that complete use is made of the high density of genotypes recorded by Simmental members.

  • Single-Step BREEDPLAN retains the maximum available SNP information (between 50,000 – 100,000 per animal) and uses all of this in the analysis.
  • The science underpinning BREEDPLAN is always at the cutting edge of genetic evaluation services world-wide.
  • BREEDPLAN developments are regularly reviewed by a technical committee of independent scientists.
  • Single-Step BREEDPLAN evaluations are validated scientifically, demonstrating improved accuracy of prediction compared to pedigree-based evaluations.

“When the goal of beef breeding is to make more accurate selection decisions and achieve greater rates of genetic gain in traits of economic relevance, then the inclusion of genomics via Single-Step BREEDPLAN will contribute even more towards achieving that goal” said Brad. 

Ultimately, the implementation of Single-Step BREEDPLAN for Simmental breeders in Australia and New Zealand, provides them with greater returns on their investment in the genotyping of seedstock cattle.