NordGen Farm Animals

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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EVA program: version 2.1 available

Utilization of reproductive technologies, such as AI (artificial insemination) and MOET (multiple ovulation and embryo transfer), combined with intense selection based on indices including information from relatives, has resulted in breeding schemes with high genetic progress, but also high rates of inbreeding. This has increased the need for tools to monitor and control rates of inbreeding in a population, such as optimal genetic contribution selection. EVA is a software tool aimed at describing inbreeding in a population and to predict genetic contributions to maximize response to selection given a penalty on rate of inbreeding.

Technically EVA consists of two sub-programs:

  1. EVA Inbred calculates inbreeding coefficients, pedigree completeness, genetic contributions and relationship between individuals
  2. EVA optimizes breeding (in the terms of genetic gain) at given costs of inbreeding and proposes suitable matings with minimized long-term increase in relationships

In the latest version, EVA 2.1, EVA and EVA_Inbred are now combined into one program.

Why use the EVA program?

  • Control of inbreeding
  • Optimal balancing of inbreeding and selection
  • Sustainable and persistent breeding
  • Works regardless of population sizes and structure
  • Successfully applied and tested in both mainstream commercial populations in the Nordic countries and endangered populations in the Nordic and Baltic countries

What can EVA perform?

  • Provides long-term and solid breeding decisions based on state of the art theory and computational methods
  • Proposes selected parents and number of offspring per parent in breeding
  • Optimizes balance between genetic gain and inbreeding
  • Improves breeding for conservation
  • Provides methods to maintain genetic variation and thus increases the sustainability of a breeding scheme

What is needed to use EVA?

  • Accurate and consistent pedigree information
  • Computerized pedigree information (ASCII files, tables)
  • An ordinary PC has often enough capacity (depend largely on population size)

 How can I get the program and instructions?

  • The program is freely accessible.
  • The download includes a "Getting started" manual and examples.

Link to EVA 2.1 for Windows , Linux and Mac . If you are a new user of EVA, please register by sending email to Anne Kettunen .

Target and user groups

  • Managers of breeding programs for most of the breeds 
  • University teachers and scientists (including PhD students)
  • National coordinators of animal genetic resources programs

Education and courses

NordGen will arrange an EVA course during the summer 2013. The course will be divided in two consecutive parts: i) “Novice”, gives introduction and basic skills on EVA, and ii) “Advanced”, concentrates on advanced interpretation of results and gives participants a possibility to discuss specific problem settings of their own. Minimum requirement for number of participants is 10 – 12.

Please, follow NordGen's website or contact us via email to express your interest.

How to cite to EVA software in scientific papers?

Berg P., Nielsen J. and Sørensen M.K. 2006. EVA: Realized and predicted optimal genetic contributions. CD communication 27-09, 2pp. WCGALP, 2006, s.246.

Paper describing the use of EVA

Sørensen M.K., Sørensen A.C., Baumung R., Borchersen S. and Berg P., 2008. Optimal genetic contribution selection in Danish Holstein depends on pedigree quality. Livestock Science 118: 212-222.

Responsible:  Anne Præbel

EVA (200x152)

IMG_1903 (300x225)

Some of the participants during EVA workshop held in Vilnius 2013.