Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Collaboration key to success for sheep genome

Collaboration key to success for sheep genome project

7 January, 2008

In less than five months AgResearch has completed its share of an international sheep genome mapping project that will help farmers identify genes associated with important production, quality and disease traits in sheep. AgResearch is one of 19 organisations from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom, France and Kenya that make up the International Sheep Genomics Consortium (ISGC).

The purpose of the Consortium is to develop public genomic resources that will help researchers find genes associated with such traits. Over the last few months a team of AgResearch scientists based at the organisation's Invermay campus, near Dunedin, has scanned the sheep genome one and a half times.

The data will be used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are small genetic differences and indicative of the traits that can separate a productive or disease resistant animal from the rest of the flock.

The science team has created the underlying information that will allow a device known as an SNP chip to scan the genome for 60,000 variants in a single pass, rather than having to conduct separate tests for each variant. The work is part of AgResearch and Meat & Wool New Zealand's Ovita Investment.

"It's a step on the way to creating tools that will allow sheep breeders to select animals based on DNA markers that can indicate useful traits from birth. Historically farmers have had to record the pedigree and production traits of livestock to ascertain their value. The tools we are helping develop will enable them to determining this faster and more accurately," says AgResearch Senior Scientist John McEwan.

He says the milestone could not have been achieved so quickly without collaboration from the University of Otago, which has allowed AgResearch scientists to use the University's recently purchased genome sequencing machine.

"It is also a great example of AgResearch working jointly with a university where both parties benefit from an infrastructural investment," he says.

John McEwan says access to the recently established KAREN telecommunications network that provides high capacity, ultra high-speed connectivity between New Zealand's tertiary institutions, research organisations and the rest of the world, has also enabled the team to work seamlessly with collaborators all over the world and store information on a single database based at AgResearch's Invermay Campus, rather than having to use several in disparate locations.

John McEwan says the project to create a sheep SNP chip should be completed by July 2008 and his team hopes to have first generation tools developed for New Zealand ram breeders available by mid 2009.

Otago's Genomics Sequencer Manager Dr Jo-Ann Stanton says that the collaboration with AgResearch has been incredibly productive and highly enjoyable.

"This work has allowed us to fine tune techniques of using the machine, allowing us to take full advantage of its tremendous capabilities. We are now well placed to offer a top-notch nationwide service for researchers seeking high quality, rapid and accurate high throughput sequencing," says Dr Stanton.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Let It Go: MP Pay To Be Frozen

The Government is freezing MP salaries and allowances for a year while developing a fairer formula for future pay increases.

The Remuneration Authority is due to make a decision on MP pay shortly.

“Today Cabinet agreed to freeze MP Pay till July 2019, and to reassess the funding formula used by the Authority to ensure it is fair and in keeping with this Government’s expectations and values,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. More>>

 

Cop Shop Top-Up: 1800 New Police Through NZ

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today confirmed further details around the allocation of the 1800 additional officers, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018... “These 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe,” says Mr Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities. More>>

ALSO:

Justice Reform: Andrew Little Interviewed By Corin Dann

“We’ve had thirty years of the auction of more penalties, more crime, more people in prison but it‘s not working, it’s not making us safe.” More>>

ALSO:

Greens AGM: Leadership Stands Firm On Waka Jumping Bill

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government. Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill. More>>

ALSO:

TOP Still Going, Actually: New Leader For Opportunities Party

New leader Geoff Simmons' aim as the leader of TOP is to take the party into Parliament at the next election where it can advocate and implement progressive reform in areas including fair taxation, cannabis legalisation, affordable housing, and environmental protection. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case... More>>

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages