Use of-omics technologies toward profitability and beef consumers' satisfaction

Funding Details
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Grant type: Collaborative Research and Development Grants
  • Years: 2017/18 to 2018/19
  • Total Funding: $279,900
Keywords
Principle Investigator(s)
Collaborator(s)
Partners

Project Summary

Canadian beef producers have a tremendous opportunity to meet the increasing global demand for high quality animal protein products. However, high feed costs and inconsistent quality remain significant challenges. Research has been underway towards addressing these challenges through the use of DNA panels to allow animals to be selected and specifically managed according to DNA profile to increase the production efficiency and product quality. Beef quality audits in Canada continue to identify beef tenderness as the number one quality concern consumers have with beef. If beef was more consistently tender, consumers would be willing to pay more for beef and purchase it more often. Although feed efficiency and beef quality represent tremendous challenges and opportunities for the industry, the ability of the industry to address these through improved genetics has been almost impossible until very recently with the development of genomics technologies. Traditional approaches to genetic improvement for these traits are not successful as the traits are too expensive and difficult to measure. This research is designed to improve the genomic tools available to increase selection efficiency and address new traits of importance for consumers and with benefit to beef producers.This project brings together an experienced Canadian team to exploit these new opportunities. The combination of the new high-throughput -OMICS technologies such as transcriptomics with phenotype/genotype data and functional information within a systems biology approach will result in a more complete understanding of the genes, regulatory pathways and causal mutations involved in economically important traits such tenderness, and integrate this comprehensive information for use in genetic improvement programs to improve the competitiveness of the Canadian beef industry.