Posted on May 17, 2019 by Sustainable Food News

USDA rolls out plan for future of gene-edited livestock

Agency's new 'blueprint' focuses on precision genomics

The USDA on Thursday rolled out a “blueprint” to serve as a 10-year guide for research and funding toward its goal of increasing the use of gene editing in livestock and other biotechnologies.

The 2018-2027 blueprint, which was a collaboration of USDA scientists and biotech companies, as well as academics from Iowa State University, focuses on precision genomics, which the USDA describes as “matching management to the genetic potential of the animal.”

The blueprint, published Thursday online in Frontiers and Genetics, is titled, “Genome to Phenome: Improving Animal Health, Production and Well-Being.”

“With the new plan, we are able to show the return on investment in the previous decade,” saidUSDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS),ARS National Program Leader Caird Rexroad. “We also identify knowledge gaps and account for dramatic new changes in technologies when it comes to obtaining genome and DNA sequence information.”

“In the last 10 years, we have been successful in implementing genomic technology in different livestock,” said ARS National Program Leader Jeffrey Vallet. “The best example is the U.S. dairy cattle industry, where genomic selection has more or less doubled the rate of genetic progress.”

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