Objectives & Results

The FECUND project will address the problems of reproductive success in the cow using a systems biology approach to develop molecular indicators of the ability of the cow to support early stages of reproduction, when most embryonic loss occurs, to underpin genomic selection for better fertility and to improve advanced reproductive biotechnologies.


The overarching objectives of FECUND are:

  • to carry out appropriate scientific studies focused on early development to create new knowledge;
  • to develop improved ways of defining, measuring and recording fertility traits including direct and surrogate measurements of key physiological variables;
  • to identify phenotypes associated with metabolic profiles and to correlate them with low or high fertility;
  • to identify biomarkers associated with early aspects of reproduction that can be used to quantify the new phenotypes;
  • to identify genetic loci associated with good reproductive performance in the breeding populations;
  • to add functional validation to genetic information using system biology studies;
  • to contribute to the improvement of reproductive biotechnologies for efficient livestock production;
  • to disseminate the information to the wider cattle breeding industry and to end users.



  1. Better understanding of the physiology of early reproduction, the definition of novel fertility phenotypes and the identification of biomarkers for improved reproduction.
  2. Protocols for improved advanced productive biotechnologies
  3. Novel indicative traits and markers for use in genetic improvement programmes.
  4. Knowledge transfer, dissemination and sustainability.