The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed to provide $US 2.5 million towards a $US 10 million large-scale field evaluation of DNA selection technology in chicken breeding. Hendrix Genetics and Cobb-Vantress Inc. partnered together to use this new technology for enhanced animal breeding (e.g., disease resistance, animal health and welfare traits).

The field evaluation begins on Oct. 1, 2008 and will run for a period of four years. The animals with the best traits will be selected based on 60,000 genetic markers (called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNP’s) and with the assistance of DNA chip technology.