DESIRE (older version)
Target your genetic gains

Written by Brian Kinghorn.


This program is designed to help you explore the possible outcomes of a breeding program, in terms of predicted genetic gains for a number of traits. When we set desired gains, this restricts the possible range of genetic change for other traits. DESIRE is a dynamic tool to help you surf the n-dimensional (n-trait) space of possible outcomes from a simple breeding program.

It does this by showing 2- dimensional slices of this space. The algebra behind DESIRE is largely drawn from Pim Brascamp’s paper: Brascamp, E.W. 1984. Selection indices with constraints. Animal Breeding Abstracts 52:645-654.

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In the screen-shot above,  yellow ellipses show the outer limits of possible response.  A red ellipse indicates that all points on and within the ellipse are ‘reachable’ without breaking fixed desires.  Some other features are shown below.

The closer to the center of the contours that you click, the less constraint is placed on other traits in the objective

Click ‘Econ Lines’ to show lines of equal economic merit. The red line has the highest economic value.

Click ‘Single trait’ to get these green dots that show the direct and correlated responses to single-trait selection.

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DESIRE has been written to handle any number of traits, but more that about 10 traits is not recommended. All traits are in the breeding objective – although they can be effectively excluded by setting their economic weights to zero. Any of the traits can be declared as measured and part of the selection index.

Recent version changes …



Prototype version, fixed at 4 traits.



Any number of traits. File open dialog. Graphing improved.

Downloading DESIRE

NB.  Desire is also integrated as a module within GENUP.  This stand-alone version has no extra function, but takes up less room.

Download and save it in an empty directory on your hard disk (you can delete this directory and all its files after installation).   If you have a capable program such as WinZIP, you can execute SETUP.EXE directly.  Otherwise unzip the file.  If you do not have an unzipper, you can download pkunzip.exe, into the same directory, and then run:

pkunzip     at the DOS prompt.

Three files will be produced. Run the file SETUP.EXE and follow instructions. [NB. You may be told that some system files need updating.  This is done by Microsoft, whose recent VB6 compiler was used for making DESIRE.  In this case you will need to re-run SETUP.EXE after updating your system files.  If you have a problem, go to;EN;q191096]. After installation, a start menu item which runs the installed program will result.

Use the program's Help menu to get started.

Good Luck!

Alternative download site:

From Colorado, USA.   With thanks to the Center for Genetic Evaluation of Livestock.
Read readme.txt and download files:    and     pkunzip.exe.

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