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Elisabeth Jonas

Elisabeth Jonas
Researcher, Associate Professor Quantitative Genetics


My main research interest is the analysis of complex traits using molecular and quantitative genetics tools. The main focus of my work had been on livestock species such as pigs and sheep, however I am also working on the possibilities of novel breeding tools in crop breeding.

My main projects are at the moment rather diverse. I am working on genomic selection in oats, the simulation of an integration of genome edited animals in breeding programs, the development of a selection index for sheep breeding and the improvement of leg health in sows.


I am teaching in different modules related to genetics and breeding (BSc, MSc, PhD).

LB0046 ”Husdjursproduktion - får, get, ren” (Avel, får och get); IN0983 and PVS0137 “Genome analysis course” (QTL analysis I &II, GWAS); HV0127 “Designing breeding programs” (GM animals and breeding programmes, Breeding programmes in developing countries); PVS0112 “Bioinformatics” (GWAS and Genomic Selection); MSc course Animal Production, Rwanda (Cytogenetics, molecular genetics, biometry I); EX0553 Kandidatexamensarbeteskurs; R-course


My current work is to the greater part focused on the Mistra Biotech project. The aim of my assignment is the development of tools for the implementation of Genomic Selection into Crop breeding (CP2). I am furthermore collaborating with other researchers on a project on the use of genome modified farm animals.

Other projects focus on complex traits in pigs (maternal behaviour, leg health) and have been financed by Formas Welfare grants. Parts of the research on leg health in sows is also funded by the Carl-Tryggers Stiftelsen.

A project on the development of a selection index in sheep is financed by the industry.

I am supervising students on projects related to diversity in Creole cattle in Bolivia, parasite resistance in goats and diversity of Swedish sheep populations.


I have studied Agricultural Sciences at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn (Germany). I then continued my research on the genetic background of the inherited inverted teat defect in pigs at the Institute of Animal Sciences. After one year of postdoctoral studies at the same Institute, I joined the ReproGen-Bioscience group at the University of Sydney, where I stayed until 2012. I started my current position at SLU in March 2012. Since 2016 I am docent in quantiative genetics.



Selected publications

Chalkias H, Jonas E, Andersson LS, Jacobson M, de Koning D-J, Lundeheim N, Lindgren G (2017): A genome-wide association study for inverted teats in sows reveals novel candidate genes. Journal of Applied Genetics. First online: 1-11

Jonas E, de Koning D-J (2016): Goals and Hurdles for a Successful Implementation of Genomic Selection in Breeding Programs for Selected Annual and Perennial Crops. Biotech. Genet. Eng. Rev. 16:1-25

Jonas E, Li L, Celi P, Soattin M, Martin GB, Thomson P, Raadsma HW (2016): Association of leptin and leptin receptor genes with energy balance, lactation efficiency and leptin serum levels in sheep. Small Ruminant Research 136: 78-86

Bjornberg Edvardsson K, Jonas E, Marstorp H, Tidaker P (2015): The Role of Biotechnology in Sustainable Agriculture: Views and Perceptions among Key Actors in the Swedish Food Supply Chain. Sustainability 7(6): 7512-7529  

Jonas E, de Koning D-J (2015): Genomic selection needs to be carefully assessed to meet specific requirements in livestock breeding programs (Review). Frontiers in Genetics 5, DOI:10.3389/fgene.2015.00049

Gholizadeh M, Mianji GR, Javaremi AN, de Koning DJ, Jonas E (2014): Genome-wide association study to detect QTL for twinning rate in Baluchi sheep. Journal of Genetics 93(2): 489-493

Graham AS, Jonas E, Tanner A, Avila-Stagno J, Bush RD, Chaves AV (2013): Effects of replacing rolled barley grain with wheat dry distillers' grains with solubles in Merino sheep rations. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A – Animal Science, 63:2, 101-110

Jonas E, de Koning DJ (2013): Does genomic selection have a future in plant breeding? Trends in Biotechnology 31:9, 497-504

Raadsma HW, Jonas E, Fleet MR, Fullard K, Gongora J, Cavanagh CR, Tammen I, Thomson PC (2013): QTL and association analysis for skin and fibre pigmentation in sheep provides evidence of a major causative mutation and epistatic effects. Animal Genetics 44(5): 547-559

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