Focusing on phenomics to unlock the potential of livestock genomics
© CAB International 2018. Advances in genomic technologies have decreased costs associated with research and led to a better understanding of the impact of genetic variations on livestock production traits. In this context, the collection of abundant, accurate phenotypic data has often become the limiting factor in the progress of livestock genomics and related fields. To improve understanding of the genotype- phenotype map and its complex interactions, a deeper knowledge of the influence of production systems and pre-/post-harvest conditions on the final phenotype is required. Hence, collecting both high-density phenotypic and environmental data is a major challenge for livestock production research. To address this challenge, phenotypes of interest, from gene expression to animal product characteristics, need to be clearly identified, standardized and collected in computable formats. High-throughput techniques are being developed in collaborative efforts from multiple research disciplines to collect data at different points of the production value chain. Research networks and collaborations with private companies will enhance data sharing and scientific progress. New bioinformatics approaches and advanced data management, processing and analysis methods are essential to integrate and interpret the large amounts of data generated by multiple sources. A better understanding of the phenome and access to valuable phenotypic data, coupled with the new wave of functional genomics, will result in unprecedented advances to economically important traits for livestock production systems.
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