Freddy Fikse


My teaching and research activities are centered on quantitative and statistical genetics. The theme of my research is utilization of genomic data in genetic evaluation and breeding programs, with the ultimate aim to provide breeders with tools to make optimal breeding decisions.

Other research topics that feature in my list of publications are: genotype-environment interaction, genetic heterogeneity, quality control of genetic evaluations, international genetic evaluations methods, factor analysis. The species I have worked most on is dairy cattle, but more recently I have been involved in dog, horse and pig genetic studies. I am involved in teaching courses at both undergraduate and graduate level, and am co-supervising a number of PhD students.


Genomicselection in the Swedish Red breed (SLFV0930071)

The objective of this project is to develop a newbiometrical method to be able to practice genomic selection; the method allowsusing DNA marker for genetic evaluation of the Swedish Red breed. Genomicselection allows early selection (as soon as tissue samples can be collectedfor DNA analysis). Implementation of GS has started in the Holstein breed, andimplementation of GS for the Swedish Red breed is a necessity for the breed toremain competitive.

Genomicbreeding programs using indicator traits to reduce environmental impact of milkproduction (SLFV1030045) .

We study strategies for recording new traits in afuture breeding structure with a limited number of specialized recording herds.The traits of interest are of great importance for the effects of milkproduction on the climate change, but difficult to record in a traditional milkrecording scheme, e.g. feed efficiency. By means of simulation we study geneticprogress in new goal traits from additional recordings in the specializedrecording herds. In addition, we study the costs of genomic evaluation in thisnew breeding structure.

Milkgenomics – genetic influence on milk composition and technological propertiesin Swedish and Danish milk (V1130006)

The aim is to use a high density chip with 777 000 DNAmarkers to genotype the Swedish cows that are studied within the Swedish-Danishmilk genomic project. The aim of the project is to explore relations betweengenetics and variations in milk composition and technological/nutritionalproperties. The overall aim is to identify genetic markers to direct towardsoptimal milk quality through breeding.

Feedefficient cows (SLF V1230028)

The concept FE represents how effective nutrients aretransformed to animal products. FE has been used a benchmark within poultry,swine and beef production for long, but has only recently been incorporated inthe dairy industry. Improved FE can be achieved by including the trait inbreeding programs, but also by improved feeding and management. The main hurdlein working with improved FE is to have access to a large accurate dataset withrelevant phenotypic observations of intake, body condition and production. Wewant to achieve this by a common Nordic project, utilising resources fromseveral research herds and scientific environments.

Measuring temperament in dogs for breeding purposes.

PhD-student Per Arvelius

Genetic studies of dog behavior

PhD-student Helena Eken

Genetic evaluation for resistance to and ability to recover from mastitis

PhD-student Berihu Welderufael.

Nature of genetic correlations

PhD-student Anne Loberg.



  • PhD in Animal Breeding (AgrD) SLU, 2002. Title of the thesis: Advances in international genetic evaluation procedures of dairy cattle.
  • Master of Animal Science, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, 1995
    - Major: Animal breeding. Title of thesis: Effects of data structure and selection on estimated inbreeding trend and depression in experimental Triboleum Castaneum lines.
    - Minor: Farm management. Title of thesis: Informatie-behoefte ten behoeve van fokkerij gedifferentieerd naar bedrijfsstrategie: een verkennende studie onder Zuidhollands melkveehouders.
  • Bachelor in Animal Production, Christelijke Agrarische Hogeschool (agricultural college), Dronten, The Netherlands, 1992.


Current position

Senior researcher, in animalbreeding and genetics, from 2008.

Previous employment

Director,Interbull Centre, SLU, 2004-2008 research assistant, Interbull Centre, SLU,1996-2004; research assistant, Dept. Animal Breeding and Genetics, WageningenAgricultural University, 1995.

Publikationer i urval

Hansen Axelsson, H., Fikse, W.F., Kargo, M., Sørensen, A.C., Johansson, K. andL. Rydhmer. 2013. Genomic selection using indicator traits to reduce theenvironmental impact of milk production. J.Dairy Sci. (in press)

Rönnegård,L., Felleki, M., Fikse, W.F.,Mulder, H.A. and E. Strandberg. 2013. Variancecomponent and breeding value estimation for environmental sensitivity inSwedish Holstein dairy cattle. J. DairySci. (in press)

Shen, X., Alam, M., Fikse, W.F. and L. Rönnegård. 2013. ANovel Generalized Ridge Regression Method for Quantitative Genetics. Genetics doi:10.1534/genetics.112.146720(published ahead of print January 18, 2013)

Malm, S., Sørensen, A.C., Fikse, W.F. and E. Strandberg. 2012.Efficient selection against categorically scored hip dysplasia in dogs ispossible using BLUP and optimum contribution selection: a simulation study. J. Anim. Breed. Genet. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0388.2012.01013.x(published ahead of print: July 11, 2012)

Juhlin, J., Fikse, W.F., Pickova, J. and A. Lundén. 2012. Association of DGAT1genotype, fatty acid composition and concentration of copper in milk withspontaneous oxidized flavour. J. DairySci. 95, 4610-4617.

Pabiou T., Fikse, W.F., Amer, P.R., Cromie, A.R., Näsholm, A. and D.P. Berry.2012. Genetic relationships between carcass cut weights predicted from videoimage analysis and other performance traits in cattle. Animal 6, 1389-1397.

Rius-Vilarrasa,E., Brøndum, R.F., Strandén, I., Guldbrandtsen, B., Strandberg, E., Lund, M.S.and W.F. Fikse. 2012.Influence of model specifications on the reliabilities of genomic predictionin a Swedish-Finnish Red Breed Cattle Population. J. Anim. Breed. Genet. 129, 369-379.

Andersson, L.S., Swinbune, J.E.,Meadows, J.R.S., Broström, H., Eriksson, S., Fikse, W.F., Frey R., Sundquist, M., Tseng, C.T., Mikko, S. and G.Lindgren. 2012. The same ELA class II risk factors confer equineinsect bite hypersensitivity in two distinct populations. Immunogenetics 64, 201-208.

Albertsdóttir,E., Árnason, T., Eriksson, S., Sigurdsson, Á. and W.F. Fikse. 2012. Effects of integratedgenetic evaluations of breeding field test traits, competition traits and teststatus for Icelandic horses on predictive ability, accuracy and selection bias.J. Anim. Breed. Genet. 129, 41-49.

Tyrisevä,A.-M., Meyer,K., Fikse, W.F., Ducrocq, V., Jakobsen, J.H., Lidauer, M.H. and E.A.Mäntysaari. 2011. Principal component and factor analytic modelsin international sire evaluation. Genet. Sel. Evol. 43, 33.