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Research Program -Breeding & Genetics



Breeding & Genetics

The primary mission of the Breeding and Genetics group at Colorado State University is to develop and implement genetic evaluations, genomic technology and improvement programs for economically relevant traits in livestock. This encompasses the land-grant university missions of CSU including research, teaching, and outreach. Faculty in the group are active members of international coordinated research committees on beef cattle breeding in the western region, national cattle evaluation methods, beef feed efficiency, and genomic tools for use in genetic evaluation. Collaborations include a wide array of projects related to beef cattle in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

The Breeding and Genetics group maintains a large Linux-based computing infrastructure located within the Department of Animal Sciences. The group maintains the CSU Center for Genetic Evaluation of Livestock (CGEL), which conducts numerous genetic evaluations and developmental research for breed associations, private companies, and producer groups around the world. Colorado State University’s breeding and genetics research has delivered new and cutting edge EPD in reproduction, maternal productivity, efficiency of feed utilization, feedlot health, environmental adaptability, and carcass merit. In addition, CGEL continues to service breed associations and producer group clientele by providing population level cattle evaluations. Colorado State University is premier academic University that conducts national cattle evaluations. The overall objective for the program is to maintain a “big picture” view of the industry and focus on the entire profitability of the industry.

In addition to genetic evaluations, the Breeding and Genetic group is currently conducting cutting edge genomic research with an emphasis in beef cattle and equine genetics. The group operates state of the art laboratories for DNA/RNA extraction, polymerase chain reactions and other molecular biotechnologies. This work includes the identification of candidate genes with major effects on traits of interest, and profiling tissue specific gene expression in addition to whole genome and microbiome sequencing.

Other facilities and livestock populations are commonly used by the group and CGEL. Notably, the CSU Beef Improvement Center (Rouse One Bar Eleven Ranch), near Saratoga, Wyoming. The Beef Improvement Center is used for research in beef cow-calf production and efficiency, adaptability to high-altitude, and related reproductive traits of genetic and economic importance, with a herd of about 450 Angus cows.

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