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USDA Awards UC Davis $2.5M Grant for Cow Genomics Project

NEW YORK (Genomeweb) – The US Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded the University of California, Davis $2.5 million over four years for a national cow genomics project. The project aims to use genetics to help the cattle industry predict traits in their herds.

"The goal [of the project] is to identify the functional elements of the cow's genome," Pablo Ross, project director and associate professor in the animal science department at the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said in a statement. Understanding the cow genome may open the door to improvements in genetic selection, which could lead to healthier and more productive livestock, the university added.

Several other schools are also involved in the project, including Virginia Tech, Texas A&M University, Iowa State University, Washington State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Idaho, Colorado State University, and the University of Vermont.

UC Davis' grant is part of a $6 million fund the USDA has awarded to created three functional genomics projects. In addition to the cow genomics project, the agency has also awarded grants for swine genomics at Iowa State University and chicken genomics at the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.