A research team made up of members from Australia, France, Denmark, the U.S., Germany, Canada and the Netherlands recently announced they have sequenced the genomes of 234 cattle as a part of their 1000 bull genomes project.

Can we predict genomic defects in cattle?The project came in to existence after researchers worldwide wanted to pinpoint the genes responsible for both positive and negative traits in male and female cattle. The project helps ranchers easily submit genetic samples for analysis.

The goal, in short, is to decrease the number of cattle with what are considered genetic defects and to increase the number of healthy cattle worldwide.

So far, analysis of genetic samples have found genetic mutations responsible for conditions that lead to curly fur, embryonic death (recessive) and chrondrodysplasia (dominant).

The project hopes to eventually include millions of cattle in the genome database, helping to identify more key players in genetic defects and other traits, such as milk production. Currently there are more than 1,200 cattle of different breeds in the database.

Cattle raisers interested in joining to movement must have at least 25 animals that are likely to be approved by the group’s steering committee.

For more information see the journal, Nature Genetics, where the paper was first published.

Source: Phys.org, Nature Genetics