Sign In

Productive efficiency of autochthonous breeds of monogastrics

Production efficiency is optimized when maximum sustainable productive output is achieved given the economic investment. Improving production efficiency is essential for the sustainable production of proteins of animal origin in the context of an expanding world population and climate change. Spanish autochthonous breeds can contribute to sustainable animal production. 

Grupo de investigación dependiente del

Animal Breeding​

Our autochthonous Spanish chicken and pig breeds are a unique genetic and cultural heritage. These breeds are highly adapted to the local Mediterranean environment; therefore, they can be used to improve sustainability of animal production systems. The utilization of autochthonous Spanish breeds of laying hens of INIA-CSIC’s Genetic Resources Conservation and Investigation Program in the context of climate change facilitates characterization of production efficiency to maximize production and/or reduce the costs of economic investments, e.g., feed costs. However, the genetic background of production efficiency of autochthonous breeds remains largely unknown. Not all autochthonous breeds are equally efficient and resilient. The last decades have seen an increase in the development and availability of molecular techniques, including genotyping with microarrays, RNA expression, and DNA sequencing. These methods can be applied to characterize the genomes of different breeds for different components of production efficiency. In addition, autochthonous breeds may harbor genetic variants that no longer exist in commercial breeds, such that crossbreeding of commercial with local breeds may combine the beneficial alleles of high production with improved resilience. 

Investigation

Our main objective is to promote the utilization of autochthonous breeds of monogastrics through characterization and investigation of their production efficiency. Our research is specifically focused on phenotypic and genetic characterization of feed efficiency, resilience, and sustainability of autochthonous breeds of laying hens and pigs in the context of climate change. Understanding the production efficiency and resilience of local breeds is essential for identifying their contribution to the sustainable production of proteins of animal origin. Our group members are educated in livestock breeding and genetics; however, sustainability and resilience is investigated multidisciplinary, including aspects of nutrition, reproduction, and animal behavior and welfare. We cooperate with national and international research teams and are open to new collaborations. 

Specifically, the objectives of our group are:

- Scientific management of the Genetic Resources Conservation and Investigation Program of Spanish chicken breeds at “El Encín” (Alcalá de Henares, Madrid). Created in 1975, this program leaders the conservation and expansion of breed genetic material of Spanish breeds of laying hens. Currently, the “in vivo” conservation program includes 12 Spanish breeds.

- Phenotypic and genetic background of feed efficiency with an emphasis on autochthonous pig and chicken breeds.

- Phenotypic and genetic background of animal resilience with an emphasis on autochthonous pig and chicken breeds. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of autochthonous breeds of laying hens included in the Genetic Resources Conservation and Investigation Program, with an emphasis on genetic sexing of one-day-old chicks, external and internal egg quality, and evaluation of stress resistance and animal welfare.

- Sustainability of poultry production systems using autochthonous breeds of laying hens.

- Detection of genotypes in local breeds of laying hens with higher resilience that can be used in crossbreeding of commercial with local breeds, combining the beneficial alleles of high production with improved resilience.​

- The use of autochthonous breeds in sustainable mixed production systems, combining pig or chicken production with the production of local feed resources (e.g., local legumes).​

- Development of statistical methods and analysis of genetic information resulting from the use of molecular techniques, including genotyping with microarrays, RNA expression, and DNA sequencing.​

- Conservation and management program of red partridge (la perdiz roja).​

- Animal behavior and welfare of chickens and pigs​.​

Miembros

Coordinador de Grupo

Este sitio web utiliza cookies propias y de terceros para su funcionamiento y con el fin de analizar las páginas más visitadas. Puede aceptar o rechazar nuestras cookies haciendo clic en los botones a continuación o visitando nuestra página de política de cookies. Se aplica una opción predeterminada de 'no consentimiento' en caso de que no se haga una elección y un rechazo no limitará su experiencia de usuario. Si desea obtener más información sobre nuestra política de cookies, haga clic en el botón "Más información" a continuación.