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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2008-09
Breeding and genetics Activity Progress in 2008/09 MERINOSELECT. • Membership has held up in a market with reducing numbers of ram breeders. • 70% of rams sold by studs that sell more than 300 rams per year are sold by MERINOSELECT members. • Merino types were introduced to website site search and reports. • Visual Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) were launched September 2009. • Service provider webinars were held. • Information sheets were produced highlighting the range of entry levels offered by MERINOSELECT that accommodates nearly all stud breeder requirements and maintains quality assurance (QA). Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association. • A commercialisation plan for industry consultation was completed. • Merino Superior Sire No 14 was released. Bloodline analysis. • The next bi-annual analysis of wether trials was developed for release in November 2009. Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Sheep Industry Innovation -- Information Nucleus Flock (INF). • Genotyping of the INF research flocks completed using the Illumina Inc. single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip. The first phase of WGA has progressed in parallel with the Falkiner Memorial Field Station flock data. A combined analysis of the Sheep CRC INF and SheepGenomics data sets is scheduled for the second half of 2009. • The collection of Sheep CRC INF phenotype data collection for Year 2 has been completed and will be used for ongoing whole genome association (WGA) and validation studies. • A Sheep CRC Open Day for stakeholders at each of the INF sites has been hailed by participants as a great success. Attendance rates at each site were high. Sheep Genomics. • A high quality Ovine SNP 55 Bead Chip manufactured by Illumina Inc. was initially released to SheepGenomics and the Sheep CRC, and later to the international research community in January 2009. • A targeted single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip for parasite resistance genotyping of research flocks was completed. The first phase of association analyses indicates SNPs align with key genomic regions of parasite resistance as identified by classical genetics. • Genotyping by Geneseek Inc. of SheepGenomics Falkiner Memorial Field Station marker resource flock and selected industry sires from Sheep Genetics was completed. • The first phase of SNP-based whole genome associations (WGA) indicates an SNP (DNA) based parentage test can be commercially developed for industry use. • The incorporation of accurate parentage information linked to a non-SNP based Agouti DNA test dramatically increases the accuracy of identifying Agouti carriers. The highly complex nature of the Agouti mutation leaves some 25% of animals with only an estimate of carrier status. Commercial reality of the test thus remains under consideration and is linked to an accurate parentage test. Useful SNPs could not be identified. • Plasma biomarker research to identify prognostic candidates for parasites resistance continued throughout the year and is due for completion by December 2009. • Gene candidates for fleece rot identified. Four SNPs were associated with fleece rot status. The reduction in levy funding has postponed further research in this area. • A product development forum (AWI, MLA, Sheep CRC, Sheep Genetics) for SheepGenomics outcomes has been established. The principal focus is the pre-commercial validation of a SNP chip for parentage with a limited number of traits such as WEC and muscle phenotypes. • The Year 2 Reproduction sub-program studies have been completed and the results incorporated into the Falkiner Memorial Field Station phenotype database for WGA. REPORT OF OPERATIONS -- R&D
AWI Annual Report 2007-08
AWI Annual Report 2009-10