A comprehensive genetic screen for recessive mutations

Single recessive mutations can determine both insemination success and the vitality of newborns, thereby affecting fertility and rearing success.


  • Lead department School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
  • Research unit Livestock and Horses
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration (planned) 01.09.2017 - 31.08.2021
  • Project management Heidi Signer-Hasler
  • Head of project Heidi Signer-Hasler
  • Keywords cattle, fertility, mutation, animal breeding, animal health, next generation sequencing


The project aims at a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms in cattle that influence reproduction and viability characteristics in cattle.

Course of action

Whole genome sequencing for the identification of recessive mutations affecting fertility and rearing success based on homozygous haplotype deficiency scans. A reverse genetics approach for identification of other disruptive mutations in the absence of affected animals in Swiss cattle by mining Whole genome sequencing. Validation and characterization of candidate mutations to identify true causative mutations impairing reproduction.