EDMONTON, Alberta — Delta Genomics Centre received $575,000 from the Canadian government to develop trait identification tools for use in the country's cattle industry.

Delta Genomics Centre will use the money to accelerate the adoption of new genetic profiling tools that are more accurate, less costly and less time-consuming than traditional DNA tools. The tools identify SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) which are genetic markers that can be tracked between parents and their offspring. Similar technology is in use in other countries.

“This project is an essential stepping stone to get the benefits of genomics into the hands of producers on the ground" said Colin Coros, vice president, Operations, Delta Genomics Centre. "It will allow our project partners to adopt a new sire identification tool, which is fundamental to using more in depth DNA profiles for genetic improvement of Canadian cattle.”

The new tools will enable producers to improve their cattle through more accurate genetic testing. Additional benefits extend to feed lot owners and processors, who could use the technology to efficiently pinpoint animals for valuable traits such as disease resistance, meat quality and feed efficiency.

“Our government remains focused on the economy, and Canada's world-class beef industry relies on the latest technologies to increase their competitiveness and grow our economy,” said Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Using genomic tools for breeding and selection can help producers lower costs of production and deliver a better quality product to the market and boost their bottom lines.”