Breed Better Animals

Horse Barn

Cows that produce milk more efficiently. Pigs able to raise larger litters of healthy piglets. Dogs more easily trained for the service of the visually impaired. Horses free of genetic disease, able to serve as more congenial companions. These are just a few of the goals that animal breeders and geneticists consider for the animals in their care. The Department of Animal Science has assembled an integrated team of faculty, students and staff committed to sustainable animal improvement; experts in the application of DNA-based technologies and advanced information processing. Always keeping the animal, its welfare and place in human communities, at the forefront of how we define “better”.

We utilize the scientific and technological advances from the various animal breeding research communities to effect more rapid and directed change. The thousands of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers discovered through sequencing projects, the information obtained from numerous genome wide association studies, the development of genomic selection statistical methodology to include molecular data in genetic merit estimates, genome editing techniques, and transgenic technologies are all used collectively to accelerate real genetic change in our food animal species to the advantage of food security and agricultural sustainability globally.  These same tools can be used to promote health and well-being of companion animal species.