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