USDA has completed and released the first draft of the sequencing of the bovine genome. Each of 3-billion base pairs of DNA have been documented, providing the roadmap that many consider essential to realize the potential of utilizing DNA for both genetic selection and improved management.

Part of a $53-million research effort, partially funded by the checkoff, the project ultimately will sequence seven beef breeds, including Angus, Limousin, Brahman, Norwegian Red, Holstein and Jersey. The initial map was done with Hereford genetics.

The completed gene maps will be deposited in free public databases for use by biomedical and agricultural researchers worldwide. The move should greatly speed the process of finding the genes that affect certain traits or characteristics.

Read the sequencing white paper at: www.genome.gov/Pages/Research/Sequencing/SeqProposals/BovineSEQ.pdf.