Animal Genetics and Genomics

 

The importance of genetics & genomics in animal breeding

Many of the animal traits of interest for selection in modern balanced breeding goals either are difficult or expensive to measure, because they are sporadic (e.g. disease resistance can only be measured in the presence of disease challenge) or are destructive or are measured late in life or only in one sex.

For these traits, molecular genetic diagnostics for marker- or gene-assisted selection are of growing importance and the rate of discovery of such diagnostics is accelerated greatly by modern genomics and bioinformatics tools. 

 

Supporting knowledge transfer for animal breeders

The UK is a global leader in commercial animal breeding and has a very strong research-base in animal science. 

The KTN will support knowledge transfer in molecular genetic tools for animal breeders and the integration of these tools with advanced in quantitative biology.

Case studies

Accelerating Knowledge Transfer (KT) regarding sheep carrying a naturally occurring fecundity gene which results in more lambs per ewe.

A UK salmon breeding company is successfully using marker-assisted selection to breed fish that have a high level of resistance to an infectious disease.