A comprehensive genetic screen for recessive mutations impairing fertility and rearing success of Swiss cattle

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


  • Department BUAS | School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Research focus Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
  • Research field Livestock systems and horse care
  • Funding body SNSF
  • Duration (planned) 01.09.2017 - 31.08.2021
  • Project management Heidi Signer-Hasler
  • Head of project Heidi Signer-Hasler
  • Project staff Heidi Signer-Hasler
    Christine Flury
  • Project partners - business Qualitas
  • Project partners - research institutions incl. BFH Universit├Ąt Bern Bioinformatics
    Universit├Ąt Bern Vetsuisse
  • Project partners - public sector SNF
  • Keywords cattle, fertility, mutation, animal breeding, animal health, next generation sequencing

Starting point

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.


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

Core competencies

analysis of whole genome sequences and large-scale SNP genotype data