Livestock Gentec is committed to achieving its vision of being a world leader in providing genomic solutions across the livestock value chain for the improvement of global competitiveness of Canada’s livestock industry. In addition to quarterly meetings of our Management Advisory Board (MAB), Livestock Gentec engages an International Industry Scientific Advisory Committee (IISAC) to review the strategic direction and technology transfer of the program locally and internationally. Livestock Gentec has also commissioned (funds provided by Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency) expert consultations on the benefit and potential of genomics for the livestock industries in Canada. The following reports are a result of two industry consultations and the most recent external performance review.
Wickham, December 2015.
Report prepared for Livestock Gentec by ConsultWickham.
Funding provided by Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA).
This report explored the concept of a Canadian Beef Improvement Network (CBIN) to provide the analysis and information tools required to deliver optimal contributions from genetic improvement to the Canadian beef industry in a consolidated and efficient manner. It concludes that CBIN is both needed and feasible. A series of steps to establish CBIN are set out in the report.
February 2015.
Report prepared by IISAC members for Livestock Gentec
IISAC members were provided background information describing research that was both underway and planned at Livestock Gentec. Members of the Committee met to address each of the terms of reference of the review. There was unanimous and strong support amongst the IISAC for the excellent progress that has been achieved since the last IISAC meeting in October 2012. A number of recommendations for continued success and improvement of the Centre were discussed. The resulting report is available for public review.
Fennessy et al., 2013.
Report prepared for Livestock Gentec by AbacusBio Limited.
Funding provided by Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA).
Livestock Gentec is engaged in helping ensure that Alberta (and Canada) are global leaders in profitable and environmentally-sustainable beef production. The objective of this project was to estimate the potential value of applying genomic technologies in the industry. The authors assessed the impact of the application of genomic technologies, before considering opportunities to focus genomics research on traits expected to provide the greatest benefit. A framework for the evaluation and application of potential best practices in the use of genomic tools are discussed in the report.


The research team has been highly successful in securing financial support and is currently operating with over $30 million in research funding. The team pursues funding opportunities from provincial and federal funding agencies, as well as from industry and through international partnerships, on an ongoing basis.

Our research

  • Creates information that drives discovery, innovation and commercialization.
  • Provides a better understanding of the relationships between genetics and environment that affect breeding.
  • Delivers advanced genomic tools that industry can use to improve production.

Our programs

  • Help industry understand the technology, how it works and the benefits it can bring
  • Train people to use genomics tools to create wealth.

Application of Genomics to Improve Swine Health and Welfare

Partners, Swine Project

Partners, Cattle Project

Canadian Cattle Genome Project

Project Summary

Factsheet - Projects & Programs V2


Livestock Gentec is addressing the Canadian livestock industry’s need to innovate by

  • Creating a body of knowledge that will help improve livestock genetics;
  • Providing the tools that industry can use to make genetic selection decisions sooner; and
  • Developing the skills and facilities to turn the technology into usable information.

The Illumina Bov50SNP Chip

Canadian research done by Livestock Gentec’s predecessor (the ABGP) contributed significantly to developing commercially important technologies. Among these were high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips for genome-wide association studies in cattle.

The first of these, the 50k SNP panel, resulted from a collaboration between the ABGP, the University of Missouri, the United States Department of Agriculture and Illumina. The Illumina Bov50SNP chip is now routinely used for testing genetic merit in cattle, especially dairy breeds. It is also used by commercial service labs—such as DNA Landmarks, GeneSeek (now Neogen), as well as Delta Genomics—and academic research labs around the world.

Next-generation sequencing technologies, very high density SNP panels (such as the Affymetrix BOS1 array with more than 660k SNPs and the Illumina HD with more than 777k SNPs), lower density (and lower cost) panels, and strategies that allow researchers to build high-density genotypes from low-density information mean that affordable, breed-specific prediction equations are now possible for all cattle breeds.

Livestock Gentec beef projects using these tools include projects on feed efficiency and meat quality at the University of Alberta and the University of Guelph, with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and Agriculture and AgriFood Canada for Nelore cattle with Genoa (Brazil), plus some emerging projects relating to nutritional quality, food safety and animal health. These tools are now been adopted by other sectors, including the pig and poultry industries.

“Downstream technology directly resulting from the sequencing of the bovine genome includes the development of high density SNP chips. Dr. Moore’s group pioneered this work with the development of a 3K chip with other groups. The Bov50SNP chip revolutionized breeding in the dairy industry, and has had a cumulative annual benefit of $180M to the Canadian dairy industry.”
Jacques P. Chesnais, Senior Geneticist, Semex Alliance


Livestock Gentec currently has commercialized 15 patents through exclusive licensing arrangements—the majority of these through an international animal healthcare company. As well, two are pending licensing agreements and six others in various stages of negotiation. This is in addition to numerous opportunities expected to emerge from research in progress.

With 33 active patents and 15 exclusive licences, Dr. Stephen Moore (link to his bio “Researcher – Moore” in folder 1.2.1), Livestock Gentec’s former CEO, has licensed more of his invention disclosures than any other inventor at the University of Alberta. He is one of only four inventors/plant breeders at the university who has disclosed more than 20 inventions. View some of Dr. Moore’s patents S.moore.patent List.april 1 2011

From Livestock Gentec's beginnings in 2010, our researchers have published more than 300 peer-reviewed research papers. To see a complete listing of all papers from 2010 to 2016, please click here.


One of the global highlights of bovine genomics in 2009 was the publication of two landmark papers in the international journal Science, presenting the genome sequence of cattle and a high-density SNP survey that uncovered the genetic structure of cattle breeds. These ground-breaking studies represent significant efforts by a large number of international researchers. The Alberta Bovine Genomics Program (now Livestock Genomics) research team was well represented among the contributors to both papers.

Click on the researcher's name below to view his or her key publications.



Livestock Gentec benefits from an established international network of alliances that includes a wide variety of organizations. From universities, research networks, government agencies, livestock industry associations and private sector companies, all our partners add value to our research and innovation and are committed to advancing livestock research.

Partners, Cattle Project

Partners, Swine Project


Click Here to See Industry Government and Scientific Partners


Click Here For The Delta Genomics Website