UK/US genomics partners to reduce the cost of animal genotyping

Ludlow, Shropshire based   Bio-Genesys Diagnostics is partnering with Affymetrix of California to offer affordable commercial genotyping services to animal agriculture.

Affymetrix manufactures DNA microarrays under the GeneChip brand for largescale commercial genotyping in livestock, poultry, aquaculture and plant-based molecular breeding programs.  The exclusive agreement will allow Bio-Genesys Diagnostics’ genetic testing services for cattle, pigs, goats, sheep and camelids to run on this platform.  The partnership will make the UK company’s range of reproductive and diagnostic solutions more available to professional farming operations and veterinarians, as well as leading to the development of custom genotyping arrays and panels for agrigenomic customer use.

Bio-Genesys Diagnostics, in collaboration with the Affymetrix technical team, has already developed a commercial cattle breeding array that is now promoted across Europe. It claims that results from its tests have enabled customers to significantly improve the genetic response in a single generation through targeted breeding.

"The future of animal genetics and animal breeding is linked to artificial reproductive technologies, in particular with respect to the sale of semen and embryos," says Dr Jack Behan, commercial director of Bio-Genesys. "The integration of genomic testing into existing breeding programs ensures that the reliability of donor animals, and therefore the intensity of genetic selection, is markedly increased. Genomic testing of herds and flocks also gives farmers the opportunity to benchmark the genetic quality and capability of their stock."

"Until now, livestock farmers across the UK and Europe have not had access to a cost-effective means of genomic testing of their herds," adds Dr Michelle Doherty, science communications consultant at Bio-Genesys. "Although genomics testing provides valuable information, the cost of such testing has been generally prohibitive, with the price of a single test often higher than the value of the animal itself. The advent of new, lower-cost technologies is revolutionizing livestock breeding and production, and Bio-Genesys is set to lead the way in the UK and Europe."

Posted on March 3, 2016 and filed under Company News, Livestock, R&D.