Farm animal genomics

Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Dimensions: grant.2757347




  1. (1) University of Edinburgh, grid.4305.2

Research Organisations


United Kingdom




We aim to deliver high quality annotated genomes for farmed animal species including the identification of functional elements. A high quality annotated reference genome sequence is critical to contemporary biological research. Draft reference genome sequences have been established for several farmed and companion animals (e.g. chicken, cattle, pig, horse, turkey and dog) and sequencing is well advanced for others (including sheep, duck, and salmon). Establishing its sequence is only the first step in characterising the genome of a species. Identifying the functional elements within a genome is essential for understanding the phenotypic consequences encoded in the genome sequence (cf. ENCODE which aims to identify all functional elements in the human genome sequence). The advent of so-called next-generation sequencing technologies has transformed the ease with which functional DNA elements can be identified on a genome-wide scale and dramatically reduced the costs of such experiments. Through our role in the leadership of farm animal genome projects (e.g. chicken, pig, sheep) we will promote the need for ENCODE-style functional annotation of farmed animal genomes and seek to establish frameworks a) to avoid unnecessary duplication of experiments and b) to share data. For example, as part of the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium, we have already shared RNA-seq data among participating research groups. Our initial efforts to generate ENCODE-style data sets for farmed animals will focus on two cellular systems relevant to other Roslin research programmes: macrophages and stem cells.

Funding information

Funding period: 2012-2017

Funding amount: EUR 1365021

Grant number: BBS/E/D/20211550

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