Is it possible to define a European Total Merit Index? (presentation for the PROTEJE group)

  • S Vanderick
  • P Faux
  • N Gengler


Developing a common European bull list is an objective of the PROTEJE (PROduction Traits European Joint Evaluation) workgroup started in 2001 as an initiative of the European Holstein herdbooks. Six Total Merit Indexes were compared to define a common breeding goal across Europe. A principal component analysis was used to observe the direction of the largest common variation among the studied Total Merit Indexes. Results showed that the considered indexes had a lot in common. The first principal component explained 86% of the total variation. Based on previous researches establishing combined proofs on a European phantom scale for most traits and trait groups and using a multiple regression for this European Total Merit Index, relative emphases on production and functionality of 37% and on conformation of 26% could be established.