Applications of Omics Technology for Livestock Selection and Improvement

Front Genet. 2022 Jun 2;13:774113. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.774113. eCollection 2022.


Conventional animal selection and breeding methods were based on the phenotypic performance of the animals. These methods have limitations, particularly for sex-limited traits and traits expressed later in the life cycle (e.g., carcass traits). Consequently, the genetic gain has been slow with high generation intervals. With the advent of high-throughput omics techniques and the availability of multi-omics technologies and sophisticated analytic packages, several promising tools and methods have been developed to estimate the actual genetic potential of the animals. It has now become possible to collect and access large and complex datasets comprising different genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and phonemics data as well as animal-level data (such as longevity, behavior, adaptation, etc.,), which provides new opportunities to better understand the mechanisms regulating animals' actual performance. The cost of omics technology and expertise of several fields like biology, bioinformatics, statistics, and computational biology make these technology impediments to its use in some cases. The population size and accurate phenotypic data recordings are other significant constraints for appropriate selection and breeding strategies. Nevertheless, omics technologies can estimate more accurate breeding values (BVs) and increase the genetic gain by assisting the section of genetically superior, disease-free animals at an early stage of life for enhancing animal productivity and profitability. This manuscript provides an overview of various omics technologies and their limitations for animal genetic selection and breeding decisions.

Keywords: animal improvement; data analysis; omics; phenomics; selection.

Publication types

  • Review