Keeping up-to-date on genomics
AbacusBio consultants Bruno Santos and Katarzyna Stachowicz have recently attended a summer course on animal breeding at the University of New England, Australia earlier this year.
The one-and-a-half week, hands-on course was a great learning opportunity that also provided a chance for networking with other practitioners in this specialised area.
The first session focused on conducting genomic analysis using R packages and working with large data files, while the second session gave an overview on how to apply single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and sequence data in the genomic prediction of breeding values, imputation from SNP to sequence data, and genome-wide association studies.
“As genetic testing becomes more affordable, these genomic techniques are increasingly used to more accurately predict merit earlier in a breeding animal’s life,” Bruno says.
Taught by international experts Associate Professor Cedric Gondro (University of New England), Dr Ben Hayes, and Dr Hans Daetwyler (Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Australia), the course has empowered Bruno and Katarzyna with the latest developments in genomic analysis.
“It builds up my capability in genomic selection, which I could apply directly in my work with clients at AbacusBio,” Katarzyna says.
Bruno, who is doing a PhD on selection tools for commercial sheep flocks, has also found it to be helpful, saying it ‘gives him a much clearer direction in his research plan’.
Since their return from Australia, both Bruno and Katarzyna are very enthusiastic about the outlook of genomics and putting their new skills into practice.