Research into avian disease resistance, genome analysis and genome preservation will benefit from a three-year research agreement between Cobb-Vantrass and the Roslin Institute, at the University of Edinburgh, U.K.

Cobb is putting almost US$1 million into avian research programs at the Roslin Institute to identify innovative ways to improve poultry health, as well as developing unique technologies to understand and preserve the current and heritage poultry genomes.

One of the applications of the joint partnership will be an effort to develop new technology enabling pedigree or heritage lines to be maintained without the need to physically maintain the bird stock. In addition, several projects will investigate DNA markers in the genome, targeting some of the more difficult-to-select-for traits, such as immunity, disease tolerance and disease resistance.

The collaboration will support research by graduate students and is for an initial three years, with potential for renewal.

Professor David Hume, director of the Roslin Institute commented: "The joint partnership with Cobb is an excellent example of the kind of industrial interactions that allow the Roslin Institute's research to drive sustainable improvements in animal health and livestock productivity."