Research

The BREEDPLAN genetic evaluation service is provided to both Australian and international clients of the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) and so represents the most widely used genetic evaluation service for beef cattle internationally.  Over 60 separate BREEDPLAN evaluations have been developed, representing over 14 million animals, almost 40 beef cattle breeds and at least 100 breed associations distributed across 14 countries.

The BREEDPLAN genetic evaluation and associated technologies, the validation of outcomes and provision of routine commercial services are underpinned by extensive and collaborative research and development activities.

Research Partners

The development of BREEDPLAN was essentially the founding project for the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), based at the University of New England (UNE).  AGBU is an unincorporated joint venture of the UNE and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).  For over 40 years it has done the underpinning Research and Development to develop the BREEDPLAN Analytical system and associated tools.  The funding for that development has been through a mix of cash investment from the red meat industry via Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and its predecessor organisations, with co-investment in cash and in-kind from UNE and NSW DPI.

Alongside the developments of the BREEDPLAN software and associated tools, the ABRI has invested in software and systems to enable users to interact with BREEDPLAN: systems for data input, data checking, routine analysis, reporting and support.

ABRI Research Vision

To provide access to research opportunities that will enhance the provision of genetic evaluation services to clients using BREEDPLAN and associated technologies.

ABRI Research and Development

The Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) engages in a range of research and development activities to enhance the value of using BREEDPLAN and associated technologies.

These activities include:

  • Analyses to demonstrate the impact of data source/s on EBVs and accuracy
  • Diagnostic feedback on EBV changes
  • Technical feedback on implementation of analytical changes
  • Review of performance recording trends
  • Estimation of genetic parameters for use in routine beef cattle genetic evaluation
  • Development and implementation of international BREEDPLAN evaluations
  • Development and implementation of multi-breed BREEDPLAN evaluations
  • Estimation of genetic linkage between regions and countries
  • Review of genomic data quantity and quality
  • Genomic structure of populations
  • Genome-wide association studies to identify possible SNPs of significant effect
  • Provision of technical updates on specific topics of relevance to BREEDPLAN clients
  • Collaboration with other industry research partners
  • Provision of data extracts requested for research under Material Transfer Agreements

Key personnel are also available to provide technical support and updates either in-person or via webinar.

For further information contact Dr. Brad Crook, Manager of Genetics Research and Development, at genetics@abri.une.edu.au.

International BREEDPLAN Evaluation Development

BREEDPLAN's Dr. Brad Crook presented on work towards an International Hereford Evaluation at the Boehringer Ingelheim World Hereford Conference in New Zealand, in March 2020. Video courtesy of the Boehringer Ingelheim World Hereford Conference.

Focus Papers