NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Eurofins Genomics has announced that the company and Weatherbys Ireland have joined forces to genotype one million cattle. Both companies were selected by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) to test beef samples over the next two years.
The project will test the cattle samples using a microarray technology that measures 55,000 variable positions in the DNA of each animal. Scientists will use this information to predict traits such as fertility, milk yield, and meat quality in individual animals.
"The microarray chip we will be using has taken two years of development by Weatherbys Ireland DNA laboratory, the ICBF, and Teagasc (the Irish agriculture and food development authority)," said Weatherbys CEO Ronan Murphy in a statement. "By teaming up with Eurofins Genomics, we are able to provide expertise and accredited laboratories at the scale needed to provide customers with new and more efficient services for their animal breeding needs."
The project is part of the Beef Data and Genomics Program, launched in 2015 by Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food, and Marine Simon Coveney, which is scheduled to run until 2020. Illumina was selected as a technology partner for the program last summer.