A multi-agency research team led by University of Saskatchewan veterinary biologist aims to expand Canada’s 18 billion dollar beef industry.
Dr. Gregg Adams says genomics and other similar tools such as microbiomics involve the study of structure and behaviour of animals.
He says researchers have made tremendous progress in these areas of cell proteins and they can now be used to extensive livestock production.
Adams says the beef cattle industry is extremely important to Western Canada, with Saskatchewan and Alberta accounting for 70 percent of Canada’s beef production.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation has awarded 6.75 million dollars for Dr. Adams research project with another 10 million dollars expected from institutions and private industry.
By bringing together specialists in microbiology, reproductive biology and forage nutrition, researchers hope to advance cattle disease management, fertility improvement and reduce environmental impact.
The first step is monitoring cattle herds in pastures and close confinement and linking the information with gene markers for desired traits.
The goal is to make it easier for producers to breed animals with better meat, strong disease immunity, healthy reproductive traits and heavier calf weights at weaning.
Researchers are also using genomics to develop rapid diagnostic tools for troublesome diseases in the beef industry.