Illumina will genotype two million animals for the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF). The federation is carrying out a €300 million Beef Data and Genomics Program, funded by the Irish government. The ICBF current mission is to genetically improve the Irish cattle herd and to make it more sustainable, environmentally and economically.
From 2015 to 2020, the non-profit ICBF will gather samples of 15% of each farmers´ beasts for genotyping and performance data. ICBF assumes they will genotype 1M cattle by 2017 and over 2M by 2020.
On the first stage, llumina will identify DNA variants in 200 cattle by next-generation sequencing. Using that information and the Infinium BeadChip technology, Illumina will be able to design a custom SNP array, which will allow to genotype animals in large numbers. The new technology will improve the numbers obtained in the past by the International Dairy & Beef Chip. This technology used Illumina’s BovineLD array and custom SNPs, and allowed genotyping 120,000 animals last year.