Researchers this month announced they had completed work on the initial draft of the genome for the Hereford breed of cattle.
Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine’s Human Genome Sequencing Center in Houston, Texas, began the process of sequencing the cattle genome in December 2003 as part of a $53 million international effort to sequence the genomes of several breeds of cattle. Other teams of researchers will provide more detailed information about specific cattle genes to supplement Baylor’s initial draft.
The National Human Genome Research Institute, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Texas together put up $46 million of the project, with the rest coming from various U.S. and international organizations.
This first draft of the cattle genome will be available free to researchers worldwide. In a statement accompanying the announcement that the cattle genome sequencing had been completed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said,
The bovine genome sequence will serve as a tool for agricultural researchers striving to improve health and disease management of cattle and enhance the nutritional value of beef and dairy products.
Scientists create genetic map of cattle. H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press, October 6, 2004.
Bovine genome assembled. Press Release, National Institutes of Health, October 6, 2004.