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A Sustainable Animal Production for the 21st century

Integrating feed efficiency, genetic improvement, reproductive success and animal welfare, product quality, welfare and environmental issues and welfare to the development of efficient and socially acceptable animal production.


The challenge of producing high quality animal products following sustainable systems and in sufficient quantities (access, availability, preservation and utilization of food) to meet the needs of the growing human population is a world priority. The aim of this thematic line is to implement an integrated approach to study the genetic, feeding, environmental and quality issues that are key to sustain the development of highly efficient and socially acceptable animal production systems.


Research supporting the progress of this thematic line will be primarily developed by the Animal Genetic Resources, Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology, Animal Production Systems and the Tropical Animal Production laboratories. The main tasks that each laboratory will undertake to promote achieving the above stated objectives are described below.

Animal Genetic Resources laboratory tasks

Primarily involved in assessing the genetic diversity, population structure and breed relationships in different livestock species. Functional genomic studies will be developed to elucidate the genetic mechanisms modulating animal production and environmental adaptation.

Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology laboratory tasks

This laboratory will use molecular tools to understand the mechanisms underlying feed utilization, in particular those related with carbohydrate hydrolysis. The use of enzymes to improve animal production and health will be explored.

Animal Production Systems laboratory tasks

Tasks developed at this laboratory are designed towards the development of highly robust breeding and feeding strategies for ruminants and horses to improve both performance and health. This novel approaches will be evaluated from an economic and social perspective.

Tropical Animal Production laboratory tasks

This laboratory will study the molecular mechanisms involved with animal and plant adaptation to Tropical climates. Will support the implementation of innovative animal production systems in countries located in tropical climates.