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SARDI Livestock breeding and genetics science programs

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article image SARDI Livestock breeding and genetics science programs are currently being applied in livestock industries
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The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) provides a range specialist capabilities in livestock breeding and genetics science programs. SARDI particularly specialises in quantitative and molecular genetics, reproductive biology and wool metrology.

These science programs are currently being applied in the livestock industries, particularly sheep and cattle, to enhance genetic improvement programs, breeding efficiency and to ensure product quality.

The SARDI breeding and genetics programs can also be applied to aquatic species and other livestock types including dairy cattle, pigs, chickens, goats, deer, alpaca and rabbits.

The SARDI breeding and genetics science programs offers three research and development platforms. This includes:

Applied genetics – the focus on providing basic genetic information to allow breeders develop optimal improvement programs for maximising genetic process in product and quality traits.

Molecular biology – understanding the underlying genetic control of trait performance at a gene/DNA level in order to add to the conventional tool available for livestock improvement based on quantitative genetics.

Reproductive technology – the focus on enhancing livestock production through the use of in vitro embryo culture methodology, embryo manipulation and animal reproductive technologies in both sheet and cattle. Reproductive technology also focuses on transgenic and cloning research and tecqhniques.

The key areas SARDI particularly endeavours within the livestock breeding and genetics science programs are in DNA and RNA analysis aimed at genetic determinates identification of important production traits, analysis of gene expression in livestock, analysis of foetal development to support efforts the somatic cell nuclear transfer method for use in livestock transgenesis and the clonal propagation of valuable livestock genetics, and as well as transgenesis to modify commercially significant production traits.

Since 1987, SARDI has been in collaboration with SARDI’s Reproduction Laboratory at Turretfield Research Centre, to undertake a comprehensive sheep transgenesis program aimed at modifying wool fibre properties to improve wool growth rates.

For the past years, SARDI’s wool modification program has gained support from the federally funded CRC for Premium Quality Wool. Genes clones in the laboratory have been constructed for expression as transgenes, which have been transferred to both mice and sheep.

For more information on SARDI’s livestock breeding and genetics science programs visit their website.

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