The application of genomics in commercial agriculture, such as genotyping for trait screening, has become indispensable to modern farming and breeding practices. Our microarray and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are helping breeders and researchers evaluate and predict genetic merit in plants and animals, informing crucial decisions about selection and health.
Genetic information has largely replaced physical screening for many commercial agriculture applications, including selective breeding. Genetic markers linked to specific value traits can be used to screen large numbers of progeny to identify those with desired characteristics. Trait screening is ideal for multigenic traits that are difficult to manage using conventional breeding or propagation techniques, and even more difficult to identify phenotypically. Iterative screening of populations enables easier segregation of progeny possessing the desired traits for use as breeding stock. Illumina offers a comprehensive portfolio for both microarray- and sequencing-based solutions to help researchers screen herds and crops for desired traits.
Sébastian Clairand, manager of the meat sector at Evolution and director of selection company Charolais Univers, and Antoine Chedru, a fourth-generation cattle breeder, discuss how genomic selection has increased gains in beef cattle through improved breeding plans, the ability to select for specific genes, and a quicker, better understanding of a bull’s genetic value.
General manager of the Canadian Dairy Network Brian Van Doormaal discusses how genomic testing can better define the value of milking cows and improve dairy herds. Brian Anderson, a fifth-generation dairy farmer, shares his own experience with genotyping cows, including doubled production, longer-lasting cows, and the significant benefits genotyping can offer in the future.
Evolution and Charolais Univers are taking strides to overcome nutritional and environmental challenges for cows. Their efforts are changing bovine assessment and resulting in hearty, healthy herds.
The goal of backcrossing in commercial agriculture applications is to move a single trait of interest—such as drought tolerance, high productivity, or disease resistance—from a donor parent to progeny. Marker-assisted backcrossing using Illumina microarrays or NGS enables researchers to monitor the transmission of the trait gene via a genetically linked marker that can be easily screened. This process significantly accelerates backcrossing programs and reduces the time to release of commercially viable plant lines or breeding stock.
As the second largest producer and largest exporter of beef in the world, Brazil has an important role in feeding the global population. We met with José Fernando Garcia, Professor of Genomics at Sao Paulo State University, and other advocates of the use of genomic selection. Hear their thoughts on how to improve zebu breeding in Brazil while reducing the environmental impact.View Video
Animal identity verification and parentage are essential tools in maintaining the biosecurity of the world’s animal populations. Illumina genotyping platforms offer the speed, reliability, and throughput needed to track animals from birth, with the flexibility to perform iterative testing as necessary. The high throughput offered by genotyping is especially valuable for commercial agriculture applications that require large-scale production.
The recent emergence of novel infectious diseases in animal populations has required researchers to look beyond conventional diagnostic tests for ways to identify these new pathogens. The speed and affordability of NGS has fueled the field of metagenomics, enabling investigators to screen samples, detect infectious agents rapidly, and track disease outbreaks. Illumina NGS technology is quickly becoming a vital tool for microbial analysis and veterinary applications in commercial agriculture.
Genetic markers can be used to identify animals and understand the relationship of offspring to parents. Because a single marker may not yield definitive results, multiple markers are used to increase the probability of identifying the true parent. In linebreeding situations where multiple generations of males or females are present in the herd, the marker results are combined with the breeder’s knowledge of possible sires or dams to determine parentage.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) sequencing is a rapidly emerging method for studying biodiversity without disrupting ecosystems. Potential applications of eDNA include port monitoring, biodiversity surveys, ballast water testing, soil testing, and more.Learn More
Read how commercial agriculture is embracing genotyping to enable farmers to enhance the quantity and quality of their milk for cheese production.
Genotyping supports the development of strong, healthy, and productive Montéliarde cattle herds. See how selective breeding is playing a part in commercial agriculture to support these Montéliarde herds.
Genotyping will enable dairy farms to adapt to changing climate and farming conditions, while producing milk that needs less processing.
Molecular characterization of genetically modified organisms (GMO) is necessary for event selection and, in many countries, regulatory approval. The simplicity and consistency of NGS makes this method a superior alternative to the existing process of Southern blotting and sequencing of PCR products. Deep sequencing of the whole genome allows determination of the number of insert sites, copy numbers at each site, sequence of the insert and the native site, and generational stability.
Factors such as land management, crop rotation, use of pesticides and fertilizers, temperature, and pH can affect the microbial communities in soil. Understanding and characterizing soil populations can enable regulation of plant performance.