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The Ovine SNP50 Beadchip

A flock of sheep

SNP chip: improving ovine genetics

An international team of researchers, led by AgResearch scientists, have developed a new genomic tool that will transform the future selection and breeding of sheep. This tool – a SNP chip – is now commercially available for breeders and researchers.

Called the Ovine SNP50 BeadChip, this cutting-edge tool will enable researchers to characterise the genetic variation at more than 50,000 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) in the sheep genome. This will pinpoint the small genetic differences that produce a variety of commercially important traits in sheep, fast-tracking the rate of genetic gain in the industry.

The research has been undertaken by the International Sheep Genomics Consortium (ISGC), a partnership of scientists and funding agencies, including Ovita, which is a consortium co-owned by Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

Ovita is developing a range of publicly available genomic resources. Access to these resources will help researchers find genes associated with traits that are important to their industries.


 Key information

  • The SNP chip allows small genetic differences to be pinpointed.
  • It is commercially available through Ovita and Pfizer Animal Genetics.

 Related links

Pfizer Animal Genetics