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Functional Genomics Overview

Functional Genomics and Genotype
Functional genomics involves characterizing genes for variations that may explain functional differences in appearance or performance. When genetic variations change the structure or function of the proteins produced by that gene, it is a functional variation. Genotype testing can identify many of these variations within the bovine genome. Common examples include identifying homozygous genes for hide color or polledness.

How Genes Determine Performance
Within the nucleus of virtually every cell in cattle are 30 pairs of chromosomes — each pair includes one chromosome from each parent. Each chromosome contains several thousand genes, all with DNA — the essence of all life. DNA is like a spiral ladder with the “rungs” made up of base molecules, called nucleotides. Groups of these nucleotides make up genes that code for production of amino acids, proteins, enzymes and other compounds that determine desirable and undesirable traits, and genetic variants affecting how an animal will grow and function. Alleles are forms of genes containing heritable characteristics.

Messenger RNA (mRNA) gathers genetic information from both chromosomes and uses it as the “recipe” for protein production. If both chromosomes include the same base molecule at a specific point, the animal is homozygous for that trait; if they are different, it is heterozygous.

How Genotype Testing Identifies Potential
It's expensive to feed and maintain a dairy heifer for two years to see how well she will milk. It's wasteful to feed a mixed pen of calves that finish at widely varying dates or grades.

The Igenity profile identifies an animal’s genotype as it relates specifically to genes. The genotypes detect Single Nucleotide Polymorphs (SNP) that relate to variation in animal performance.

The science behind Igenity gives dairy and beef producers the ability to know now — with high accuracy — a new dimension of an animal’s genetic potential for milk, and meat production and quality.

For further information about the Igenity Profiling service please call 0845 603 8895 or alternatively email igenity@neogeneurope.com.

To order a sampling kit, please click here

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