Genetics and Biometry – Program

From genetic theory to practical breeding

A main field of research is mapping and fine-mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL), leading to methods of marker-assisted genetic evaluation, selection and breeding. Thereby commercial livestock populations are considered as well as experimental families, including laboratory animals (mice).

A further topic is the importance of genomic imprinting for the inheritance in livestock and its possible implications for genetic improvement. We work both theoretically and apply our ideas to real-world dairy-, beef- and pig-datasets.

Scientific computational tools include well-known packages as e.g. SAS, Mathematica, PEST, VCE, own software is constantly being developed using FORTRAN.

Animal models for research in farm animals

We investigate the biological characteristics of mice selected for special quantitative traits as growth rate, fitness or reproductive rate. This approach is to reveal the causative mechanisms which are possibly comparable to those in farm animals. Also, the maintenance and development of the Dummerstorf long-term selected mouse lines is on our agenda.

The new built mouse facility guarantees high standard services in the field of laboratory animal science under defined hygienic standard with a SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) barrier unit. A full technical service including blood and organ collection, experimental procedures, and complete colony maintenance is offered.

Bioinformatics and Biomathematics

We are interested in analysing the genotype-phenotype map using different levels of analysis: Main focus is on analysis of high-throughput studies, both gene expression and metabolomics, concerning questions of biosignature learning as well as integrative analyses. We are also aiming at assessing interacting groups of genes (or proteins) determining specific phenotypic traits using multivariate methods of unsupervised and supervised statistical learning. Another part of our projects is concerned about a systems biological approach to topologically characterise relevance (correlation) networks of transcriptome and metabolome. Here, qualitative and quantitative modelling of regulatory biological systems is on focus.