Breeding to improve functional traits in farm animals

For a long time increasing performance traits has been the main focus of animal breeding. Today improving functional traits is of comparable relevance. This encompasses vitality, animal health, behaviour and adaptation to environmental conditions. Since such traits are often of complex nature, specific genetic models need to be developed. Analysing large data sets with such models leads to a better understanding of the underlying genetic mechanisms and ultimately allows new and promising breeding strategies to improve complex traits.