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 school School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute Agriculture
  • Research unit Livestock and Horses
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration 01.09.2017 - 31.05.2022
  • Project management Dr. Heidi Signer-Hasler
  • Head of project Dr. Heidi Signer-Hasler
  • Project staff Christine Flury
    Dr. Heidi Signer-Hasler
  • Partner Qualitas AG
    Universit├Ąt Bern Vetsuisse
    Universit├Ąt Bern Bioinformatics
    Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
  • 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.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 2: Zero hunger