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The FAANG sample metadata specification requires that the breed of each animal is documented, using terms from the Livestock Breed Ontology (LBO). This document covers how to describe the breed of animals. 

Purebred animals


Purebred animals should be described using a single term from LBO. The breed name should be used as the value, with a reference to the ontology ID. e.g an entry using the FAANG metadata template would look like this for a Texel sheep:


breedTerm Source REFTerm Source ID


Crossbred animals

All crossbred animals should be annotated with the LBO term ID for crossbreed, specific to their species.  


SpeciesLBO crossbreed term
Bos taurusLBO_0001036
Capra hircus


Equus caballusLBO_0001039
Gallus gallusLBO_0001037
Ovis ariesLBO_0001041
Sus scrofaLBO_0001040

Cross of two pure bred animals

Where the breed of the parent animals are known, the progeny of two purebred animals can be described using the format “breed sire x breed dam”. Sire should always be listed first, dam second. For example


breedTerm Source REFTerm Source ID
Texel sire x Scottish Blackface damLBOLBO_0001041
Scottish Blackface sire x Texel damLBOLBO_0001041


Breed of each parent is not known

Where the details of the breeding line are not fully known, the breed should be reported as a list of breed names, separated by a comma. The breeds should be ordered alphabetically. For example,  the progeny of a Texel and Scottish Blackface cross:


breedTerm Source REFTerm Source ID
Scottish Black,TexelLBOLBO_0001041


Cross of a crossbreed and a purebred animal

Where a crossbreed is bred with a purebred animal (e.g. a backcross), breed information can be nested, following the same ordering as for outcrossed animals (sire first).


breedTerm Source REFTerm Source ID
(Texel sire x Scottish Blackface dam) sire x Texel damLBOLBO_0001041
Texel sire x (Texel sire x Scottish Blackface dam) damLBOLBO_0001041


Cross of two crossbred animals and further crosses

There are practical limits to how much information can be stored in a single field. Full details of a breeding line can be represented by submitting information about the animals, and linking the records using the ‘Child of’ relationship in the animal metadata. In these cases, breed can be summarised following the same rules as for animals where we do not know the breed of each parent.

In the example below, we know enough of the S5’s lineage to describe it as “(Texel sire x Scottish Blackface dam) sire x (Texel sire x Scottish Blackface dam) dam”, but this is unwieldy, so we summarise it as “Scottish Blackface;Texel”.


AnimalChild ofChild ofbreedTerm Source REFTerm Source ID
S1  TexelLBOLBO_0000640
S2  Scottish BlackfaceLBOLBO_0000612
S3S1S2Texel sire  x Scottish Blackface damLBOLBO_0001041
S4S1S2Texel sire x Scottish Blackface damLBOLBO_0001041
S5S3S4Scottish Blackface,TexelLBOLBO_0001041


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