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Cobb Invests $1M in Roslin Institute for Poultry Genomics Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Poultry genetics company Cobb-Vantress will partner with and provide nearly $1 million to The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh to support avian genomics research projects, the partners said yesterday.

Under the three-year agreement, the partners will collaborate on research into avian disease resistance, genome analysis, and genome preservation.

Roslin opened a National Avian Research Facility (NARF) in 2013, funded by the Roslin Foundation, the University of Edinburgh, and the UK government. The NARF is focused on studying a range of diseases that impact poultry food producers, such as Campylobacter and Salmonella, and conducting research for the production of genetically modified chickens.

Roslin and Cobb will undertake several projects to study DNA markers in avian genomes to target traits that are difficult to select for such as immunity, disease tolerance, and disease resistance.

In another project, the partners will develop tools that enable pedigrees or heritage lines to be maintained without having to physically maintain the bird stock.

Cobb's Chief Technology Officer Christine Daugherty said in a statement that the company aims to better understand poultry genomes so it can breed "more robust chickens that will withstand disease and environmental challenges. We're looking for birds with greater immunity to diseases or with the ability to tolerate disease without affecting performance."

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