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DNA LandMarks to Support USDA Chicken Genomics Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Canadian genomics and bioinformatics company DNA LandMarks will provide support services for a US Department of Agriculture-led program to study the chicken genome for potential improvements for breeding, the company said today.

The Quebec-based firm said that it will provide the USDA and its partners in an international consortium with high-throughput genotyping, bioinformatic analysis, and database development services.

The $10 million Genome-Wide Marker-Assisted Selection poultry project will analyze the entire chicken genome with the aim of developing tools for evaluating and implementing genomic selection in chicken breeding.

The consortium includes companies and public collaborators such as Purdue University; the University of Wisconsin; University of Georgia; Wageningen University; Norway University of Life Sciences; Hendrix Genetics; and Cobb Vantress.

The project will involve analyzing around 60,000 SNPs using an array the consortium developed on over 15,000 chickens, generating 900,000,000 data points for analysis.

Bill Muir of Purdue University said that the technology the consortium will use "offers not only the potential for doubling the rate of improvement in important agricultural traits, but also the ability to address difficult traits, such as those related to animal well-being."

DNA LandMarks is a unit of BASF Plant Science and its Centre of Excellence for DNA sequencing and genotyping.

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