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Livestock Genomics |

What is Livestock Genomics?

The genome is the sum total of an organisms’ genes, and the study of the genome is termed genomics. Combining genomic information with accurately recorded phenotypic (observable characteristics and measurable traits) data allows for more accurate, efficient and less time-consuming selection of livestock animals, especially on young animals that have very little information. In short, information about an animals’ genome is combined with estimated breeding values to obtain genomic Estimated Breeding Values (gEBVs). The gEBV provides breeders with the ability to rank their animals based on genetic merit. With this approach, animals need not reach maturity before their genomes are assessed, saving years in the breeding process when compared to selection based only on quantitative animal breeding. The process is underpinned by the fact that a large number of genes contribute to desirable phenotypes in livestock animals.

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