Chicken, cattle and pigs are the most important food-source animals, providing nutritionally valuable protein and essential micronutrients for a growing population. Genetic improvement of these animals is critical in order to sustainably meet growing demand while also improving the animals’ health and welfare.
Researchers at UC Davis have now generated the most comprehensive catalogue of the regulatory elements of the genomes of these farm animals. Understanding the function of these elements is key, as they regulate when, where and how much genes and their corresponding proteins are expressed. This opens a new door to improvements in genetic selection on more productive and healthier animals.