Affymetrix, Inc., and United Kingdom-based Bio-Genesys Diagnostics have announced that they have entered a partnership to offer commercial genotyping services. Under the terms of the agreement, the genetic testing services offered by Bio-Genesys Diagnostics for cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and camelids will be run exclusively on Affymetrix’s technology. The partnership leverages the broad range of reproductive and diagnostic solutions offered by Bio-Genesys Diagnostics to professional farming operations and veterinarians and the strong technical and customization expertise from Affymetrix in developing custom genotyping arrays and panels in agrigenomics.
"The future of animal genetics and animal breeding is linked to artificial reproductive technologies, in particular with respect to the sale of semen and embryos," said Dr. Jack Behan, commercial director of Bio-Genesys. "The integration of genomic testing into existing breeding programs ensures that the reliability of donor animals, and therefore the intensity of genetic selection, is markedly increased."
"The genomic testing of herds and flocks gives farmers the opportunity to benchmark the genetic quality and capability of their stock," explained Rachael Fawkes, business development manager at Bio-Genesys. “Genomic selection speeds up the process at work in selection through conventional breeding by significantly increasing the rate of genetic progress through much shorter generation intervals.”
Results from the Bio-Genesys Diagnostics tests have enabled customers to significantly improve the genetic response in a single generation, due to targeted breeding. Bio-Genesys Diagnostics, in collaboration with Affymetrix’s technical team, has developed a commercial cattle breeding array that is now promoted across Europe.
"Until now, livestock farmers across the UK and Europe have not had access to a cost-effective means of genomic testing of their herds," said Dr. Michelle Doherty, who provides a science communications and consulting service to Bio-Genesys. "Although genomics testing provides valuable information, the cost of such testing has been generally prohibitive, with the price of a single test often higher than the value of the animal itself. The advent of new, lower-cost technologies is revolutionizing livestock breeding and production, and Bio-Genesys is set to lead the way in the UK and Europe."
"Affymetrix has a proven track record of successful deployment of genotyping solutions in support of industrial scale genomic selection programs in species of key economic importance in livestock, poultry, aquaculture, and plant-based molecular breeding programs. We are excited to enable Bio-Genesys’ commercial genotyping service for multiple livestock species using our Axiom 384HT genotyping solution. Bio-Genesys required a genotyping technology that offered complete customization flexibility to develop multispecies custom designed arrays which generate high quality genomic data quickly, consistently, and cost effectively. The Axiom 384HT platform delivers all of these requirements in routine industrial testing," said Laurent Bellon, PhD, senior vice-president and general manager, Genotyping Business Unit at Affymetrix.