|June 8, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: Researchers have
completed the first whole cattle genome association study.
The association study will allow producers to single out
cattle with traits considered desirable in consumer beef.
The study conducted in partnership by U.S. agribusiness
firm Cargill and MetaMorphix, a life sciences company
was ruled a success by its financiers.
"We are pleased with the project progress. The
creation of this unique set of markers in the bovine
genome will permit the development of a product that
we expect will aid the cattle feedlot technology aimed
at production of superior cattle and beef. We look forward
to working with MetaMorphix to bring this innovation
to the cattle industry," said Albert Paszek, director
of animal productivity and genomics at Cargill.
In June 2002, MetaMorphix (MMI) and Cargill subsidiaries
Caprock Cattle Feeders and Excel Corporation signed
an exclusive research and development agreement to develop
and commercialize tools to identify cattle bearing traits
that satisfy consumer demands for consistency and quality
MMI conducted a whole genome association study in a
population of commercial beef cattle at a Caprock feedlot
and discovered specific regions in the cattle genome
that associate with desirable beef traits.
Cargill said that over the next year the tools will
be validated in Caprock feedlots to examine their use
in commercial cattle production.