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D. Vincek ; Varaždinska županija Franjevački Trg 7, 42000 Varaždin, Hrvatska

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Breeding program determine how to gain economic benefit from animals. It is necessary to update them, change them and adapt them to market demands. Earlier, breeding programmes were based on proven individuals who had certain skills that were used to advance production. Organized implementation of breeding selection in swine breeding began in 1931 when the association of selection co-operatives in swine breeding was established. At the beginning identification database, control of food consumption, increase and breeding production were formed. This was the basis for the beginning of selection implementation. Until 2004 different selection indexes were used to estimate the breeding value of swine. After 2004 the estimation of breeding value of boars and gilts in production conditions (field test) and the estimation of breeding value of sows on the litter size by the best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) were used. The 1997 breeding program defined breeding aims. Nevertheless, after ten years of implementation of the program, defined breeding aims have not been achieved yet. Set norms are not so high since in the majority of European countries they were achieved long ago.
Even today methods of estimation of breeding value [selection index, BLUP (sire or animal model)] use information based on phenotype in order to estimate genotype. Features with low heritability represent a problem. This group of features is expressed later in life, and since it is hard to measure some of the features, they cannot be used as a criterion of selection. For this reason achievements in molecular genetics are used nowadays to genetically advance livestock breeding.


Selection; swine; selection index; BLUP; molecular genetics

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