Review on the genetic improvement and application of genomic selection in Korean Hanwoo cattle

Chiemela Peter  Nwogwugwu1   Yeongkuk Kim1   Ejike Henry Ugbo2   Jun Heon Lee1,*   Seung-Hwan Lee1,*   

1Division of Animal and Dairy Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea.
2Department of Animal Science, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria.


Hanwoo cattle (HC) being an indigenous breed are greatly adapted to Korean hot-humid climate. They can survive and thrive in harsh environmental conditions. This makes the HC a valuable genetic resource, given the challenges of climate adjustment and varying demands of the livestock sector. Respects to these genetic attributes of HC, breeding initiatives were designed for genetic improvements, such as the Hanwoo-Gaeryang-Danji (HGD) and Hanwoo-Gaeryang-Nongga (HGN), respectively. These initiatives have resulted in tremendous success in the meat industry. The genetic improvement of HC is somehow fulfilling the breeding objectives of increasing the growth performance traits, enhancing meat quality, improving fertility and maintaining adaptability. The breeding and production systems have also contributed towards achieving the breeding goal. The HC production system comprised of 3-tier, the seed stock, multiplier and feedlot sector. The production system provides a link that enable genetic material from the nucleus herd down to various sectors. The results from various studies on the evaluation of genetic improvement and parameters in Korean HC have revealed the degree of genetic progress. Furthermore, the implementation and the used of pedigree and performance records have been helpful using best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) to estimate breeding values. In addition, the EBV and accuracy of estimated breeding values (EBVs) are important tool for selecting superior animals to replace the next generation. However, several factors can influence the accuracy of EBVs, such as selection accuracy, selection intensity, pedigree errors and the generation interval (GI). Applying genomic selection (GS) is a potential method to improve prediction accuracy and genetic gains in economically important traits in dairy and beef cattle. Therefore, this study reviews the genetic improvement and application of genomic selection in Korean Hanwoo cattle.

Figures & Tables

Figure 1. Four Korean native breeds of cattle