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The "1000 cattle genomes" project

L’analyse du génome de 1000 bovins – Crédit : Wikimedia

 The "1000 cattle genomes" project

As part of an international consortium, INRA and UNCEIA contributed to a first step towards the "1000 cattle Genomes" project. The article published in Nature Genetics describes the variability highlighted as well as various derivatives applications of these data for the identification of mutations responsible for genetic defects or involved in the determination of complex characters.

In recent years, selection, originally based on phenotypic and genealogical information, became genomics. It relies increasingly on information from the genome to predict the breeding value of animals and select those whose offspring will be more suited for future production systems. A recent technological revolution in this field, allowing to sequence the entire genome of a significant number of individuals in the framework of a large international consortium, opens a golden way towards the description of DNA variability at to species level.

 A first important step

INRA and UNCEIA play an active role in a global consortium aiming at sequencing 1000 cattle genomes. The strategy targeted the sequencing of the most important ancestors who shaped the Holstein, Jersey and Simmental breeds, giving a comprehensive picture of the current variability of these populations.

In a statement dated Tuesday, July 15, INRA and UNCEIA announced the sequencing of the entire genome of 234 cattle breeds Prim’Holstein, Simmental and Jersey.

For instance, this approach permitted to rapidly identify mutations modulating milk production aptitude or genetic defects present in these races, responsible for embryonic death or congenital malformation of the skeleton”, as per a statement of INRA. More generally, it paves the way for systematic research on large-scale mutations responsible for genetic variability in observed characters. "
The publication of an article in Nature Genetics is an important step in this project: Entire genome sequencing of 234 bulls facilitates mapping of monogenic and complex traits in cattle

 More than a thousand sequences of complete genomes by 2014

The objective to have a thousand sequences of entire genomes will be achieved this year. These data describe the whole existing variability in the genome of the species. The applications are numerous, including the systematic search for large-scale mutations responsible for genetic variability of traits. Identifying these mutations will enable more effective selection on all the characters chosen for a target of sustainable production, regardless of heritability or ease of measurement.