The new technology phase will reduce the gene discovery process from 10 years to potentially 18 months, revolutionising the generation of DNA marker predictions for key economic traits. Searching for multiple traits across thousands of DNA markers at once not only cuts the time needed to identify sheep with desired genes, often by years, it also considerably widens the scope of what characteristics can be selected for.
Ovita is taking full advantage of this smart new SNP chip technology, with a range of genomic selection tests for the breeder or farmer which are very simple to use.
Each sheep is tissue-sampled on-farm by the farmer - no vet and no blood-testing. Using the very clever Tissue Sampling Applicator, the farmer punches a tiny piece of tissue from each sheep's ear directly into a sample tube, which is labelled to match that sheep's eartag/electronic information, and couriered to the lab on-ice.
The DNA is extracted from the tissue in a straight-forward laboratory process, then the new SNP chip procedure analyses all of the sheep's genetic information from that DNA data. This identifies the growing number of genes which are known to influence key production factors, giving a complete genetic picture of the sheep's potential from which Breeding Values are produced.
The breeder then gets comprehensive information on the production genes each sheep has or lacks from the BV reports on-line, and makes breeding decisions accordingly.
This technology is a result of New Zealand farmer investment in Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Ovita.
The new technology phase will reduce the gene discovery process from 10 years to potentially 18 months, revolutionising the generation of DNA marker predictions for key economic traits. Read more
Genetic selection tools help to realise the productive potential of our animals. Read more
The key to making progress, both as an individual farmer and for the overall industry, is to invest in technology that "makes the boat go faster." Read more
One of the Ovita-funded research projects that continues to attract considerable support from farmers New Zealand-wide is its Lamb Survival Programme. Read more
Ovita's research programme is about piecing together the pieces of the genomic puzzle that affect sheep production. Read more