In a selection programme, the objective is to maximise the genetic progress of economically important traits, but imposing restrictions on the rate at which inbreeding increases. The control of inbreeding is necessary to avoid or alleviate the reduction in viability and fertility (a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression), which may eventually make genetic progress impossible despite the presence of genetic variance for traits under selection.
In a conservation program focused on threatened populations, the objectives are to maximize genetic variability and control inbreeding for alleviating inbreeding depression.
Both genetic selection and inbreeding control can greatly benefit from the use of genomic tools.
The main objective of our group is to develop methodologies for optimizing the design and management of selection and conservation programmes in farmed animals, using currently available genomic tools.
In recent years we have developed an important activity in genetic improvement programmes of aquaculture species. Furthermore, our group is a pioneer in the use of technologies to guarantee the maintenance and sustainable use of threatened populations.