Aviagen has opened a new state-of-the-art genomics laboratory in Scotland that is capable of processing more than a million DNA samples and genotypes a year for both chicken and turkey lines.
The opening comes 5 years after Aviagen became the first poultry company to incorporate genomics information in the routine selection of its elite chicken lines.
Genomic research identifies naturally occurring variation within the genome of elite birds and uses that variation to further enhance selection decisions for traits across a balanced breeding goal, including biological efficiency, feed conversion, meat yield and quality, reproductive fitness and health and welfare.
It is combined with traditional selection techniques to achieve the highest selection accuracy, and the new laboratory marks a milestone in the company’s long-term commitment to research and development investment and genetic advancement.
Opening the laboratory, Dr Santiago Avendano, Aviagen director of global genetics, said the new facility enabled Aviagen to upscale its genomics implementation across its chicken and turkey breeding programmes.
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“This will ultimately translate to performance benefits for our product portfolio globally,” he added.
Dr Alfons Koerhuis, chief technical officer for Aviagen, added: “The accelerated genotyping abilities created by the new laboratory help to further the ongoing improvement of Aviagen’s breeding stock.
“Applying advanced genomics research strengthens our ability to breed stronger, fitter and healthier birds with good robustness and adaptability to global production environments, which ultimately deliver optimal and predictable field performance.”