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Simmentals in the Whole Genome Sequencing Spotlight: Update at Fall Focus

In April 2009, the Hereford cow, L1 DOMINETTE 01449, became world famous as the first bovine with a completed Whole Genome Sequence. At that time, this was one of the largest genomes ever sequenced. The effort took six years, $60M, and involved over 300 scientists in 25 countries. Fast-forward 10 years to 2019 and the Whole Genome Sequencing spotlight is shining on BHR LADY SIEG C235E, a fullblood Fleckvieh cow bred and owned by Buzzard Hollow Ranch.

This whole genome sequence is part of a project to look at variation that might occur in reference assemblies of different breeds of beef cattle. A new procedure known as Trio-binning allows this work to be done in a fraction of the time and cost of the original L1 Dominette sequencing effort and produces a higher-quality sequence. Completely opposite of using the highly-inbred Hereford line, this project uses F1 crosses of different species. The Simmental cow was IVF mated to a Bison bull with the resulting embryo providing high-quality sequence assemblies for both the Simmental breed and the Bison species.

The project cooperators included Drs. Tim Smith and Mike Heaton, US-MARC; Dr. Brian Vander Ley, UNL-GPVEC; Fred Schuetze, Buzzard Hollow Ranch, Todd Stroud, Hookstock Genetics, and many other team members.

Dr. Mike Heaton, one of the project cooperators, will update the crowd on this exciting research project during the Board meeting at Fall Focus on the morning of August 25.  Don’t forget to register and book your hotel rooms at fallfocus.org - time is running out!

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