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

Gordon Campbell: On Welcoming The Major Health Reforms

Usually “reform” of government agencies is a cost cutting exercise in disguise, but this morning’s revision of the health system looks totally different. These reforms amount to the biggest shake-up of the health system since the neo-liberal reforms of the early 1990s, which have now been completely reversed. Good. The main ingredients announced by Health Minister Andrew Little this morning have included the setting up of a new and truly independent Maori Health Authority... More>>

 

NZ & Globe: Leaders’ Summit On Climate To Raise Ambition On Climate Action

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined President Biden at the virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by the United States overnight. The summit, held for Earth Day, brought world leaders together to galvanise efforts to reduce emissions this decade ... More>>

ALSO:

The Conversation: If We Want To Improve NZ’s Freshwater Quality, First We Need To Improve The Quality Of Our Democracy
Since the fatal Havelock North campylobacter outbreak in 2016, freshwater quality has rightfully been a major political issue in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

Government: Major Reforms Will Make Healthcare Accessible For All NZers

Putting a greater emphasis on primary healthcare and ensuring fairer access for all New Zealanders are two of the main drivers of health sector reforms announced today by Health Minister Andrew Little. “We are going to put the emphasis squarely ... More>>

ALSO:


Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels