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Bovine Genomics

Genome Canada, through Genome British Columbia, was a major partner on a $53 million joint international effort to sequence the genome of the cow (Bos taurus). Other major partners included the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; the state of Texas; The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia; Agritech Investments Ltd., Dairy Insight, Inc. and AgResearch Ltd., all of New Zealand; the Kleberg Foundation; and the National, Texas and South Dakota Beef Check-off Funds.

A team led by Richard Gibbs, Ph.D., at Baylor College of Medicine’s Human Genome Sequencing Center in Houston carried out the sequencing and assembly of the genome. Additional work aimed at uncovering more detailed information about individual bovine genes – a process referred to as full-length cDNA sequencing – was conducted by a Canadian team led by Marco Marra, Ph.D., at the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver.