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To Boost Productivity

The US Department of Agriculture presents a new plan for animal genomic research to help meet growing food demands.

As it notes in a statement, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, along with its colleagues at USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Iowa State University, and elsewhere, developed the new "Genome to Phenome: Improving Animal Health, Production, and Well-Being – A New USDA Blueprint for Animal Genome Research 2018–2027" report during a workshop. This report, which is an update to a previous one, is now published in Frontiers in Genetics. It highlights the importance of studying the microbiome, investigating the use of gene editing, and preserving genetic diversity among livestock. It further stresses the need to be better able to predict animals' phenomes from their genomes and environmental influences to improve animal productivity.

"With the new plan, we are able to show the return on investment in the previous decade," ARS National Program Leader Caird Rexroad says in a statement. "We also identify knowledge gaps and account for dramatic new changes in technologies when it comes to obtaining genome and DNA sequence information."

The Scan

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