Growing out of DNA testing for genetic conditions, Barten decided to develop a company that could biopsy embryos and DNA test embryos (rather than waiting for calves to be born).
In embryos, there is the inner cell mass that is going to become the calf. There rest of the embryo (trophectoderm) will become the placenta. They biopsy the trophectoderm as it will heal and the embryo will develop normally.
Now, with the DNA from the biopsy, they can DNA test the embryo.
Illumina needs minimum of 150 ng of DNA.
1 Cell can yield ~7 pg of DNA
1 biopsy yields ~70 pg DNA (~10 cells)
Have to amplify this DNA 2,100 times.
This is like amplifying a bushel of corn into a semi truck load of corn.
Half of the variation in the population is expressed between full siblings. From an embryo flush, you can see tremendous variation in the genomic predictions of the embryos.
By genotyping the sire and the dam, GeneSeek and Embruon can correct the messy genotypes from the embryo biopsy. They can get high quality genotypes from the small starting quantities from the biopsy.
Using risk assessment software, the return on investment in embryo biopsy was 49%. Typical embryo transfer was about 43%.
Embruon has now took over a lab that was previously used for human In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), and is now used for cattle IVF.
Embruon can test for:
- Genetic Condition
- Gender and Genetic Condition
- Genomic-enhanced EPDs
The cost is around $140 per embryo, plus shipping cost.