Affymetrix, Inc. and United Kingdom-based Bio-Genesys Diagnostics announced that they have entered a partnership to offer commercial genotyping services.  

Under the terms of the agreement, the genetic testing services offered by Bio-Genesys Diagnostics for cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and camelids will be run exclusively on Affymetrix’s technology. The partnership leverages the broad range of reproductive and diagnostic solutions offered by Bio-Genesys Diagnostics to professional farming operations and veterinarians and the strong technical and customization expertise from Affymetrix in developing custom genotyping arrays and panels in agrigenomics.

“The future of animal genetics and animal breeding is linked to artificial reproductive technologies, in particular with respect to the sale of semen and embryos,” stated Dr. Jack Behan, commercial director of Bio-Genesys. “The integration of genomic testing into existing breeding programs ensures that the reliability of donor animals, and therefore the intensity of genetic selection, is markedly increased.”

“The genomic testing of herds and flocks gives farmers the opportunity to benchmark the genetic quality and capability of their stock,” explained Rachael Fawkes, business development manager at Bio-Genesys. “Genomic selection speeds up the process at work in selection through conventional breeding by significantly increasing the rate of genetic progress through much shorter generation intervals.”

Results from the Bio-Genesys Diagnostics tests have enabled customers to significantly improve the genetic response in a single generation, due to targeted breeding. Bio-Genesys Diagnostics, in collaboration with Affymetrix’s technical team, has developed a commercial cattle breeding array that is now promoted across Europe.

“Until now, livestock farmers across the UK and Europe have not had access to a cost-effective means of genomic testing of their herds,” said Dr. Michelle Doherty, who provides a science communications and consulting service to Bio-Genesys. “Although genomics testing provides valuable information, the cost of such testing has been generally prohibitive, with the price of a single test often higher than the value of the animal itself. The advent of new, lower-cost technologies is revolutionizing livestock breeding and production, and Bio-Genesys is set to lead the way in the UK and Europe.”