A new sheep genotyping tool puts the sheep meat industry at the forefront of breeding technology, said FarmIQ Chief Executive Collier Isaacs.
The completion of the "Ovine Infinium® HD SNP BeadChip" was announced this week. It means that a sheep's performance can be predicted by testing its DNA, rather than the need for extensive progeny testing, speeding up genetic gain.
Creation of the new high-density chip and its use to create benefits for commercial farmers results from a collaboration across the commercial and scientific sectors, he says.
"Developing this high-density chip was such a large and technically complex job that it required the expertise, time and facilities of many different groups. Teams of scientists in New Zealand worked with teams in the United States and Australia to develop it. It was a collaborative effort, and we really appreciate all their input," said Isaacs. "This puts the sheep meat industry at the forefront of breeding technology."
"We have been working with the lower density chip for the past five years and can correlate 28 on-farm traits to the DNA variants on that chip," said Eleanor Linscott, consortium manager for Ovita. "So that means we can predict a sheep's performance for these 28 traits based on its genetics. These are traits for things like reproduction, growth, disease resistance and longevity on commercial farms.
"This new chip will now give us far more detail on those traits."
Reprinted in part from Scoop