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Dr. Jamie Courter is your Mizzou Beef Genetics Extension Specialist

By Jared E. Decker Many of you have probably noticed that things have been a lot less active on the A Steak in Genomics™   blog, but you probably haven't known why. In January 2021, I was named the Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics at Mizzou, and I now focus on research, with a little bit of teaching. I no longer have an extension appointment. But, with exciting news, the blog is about to become a lot more active! Jamie Courter began as the new MU Extension state beef genetics specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences on September 1, 2023. I have known Jamie for several years, meeting her at BIF when she was a Masters student. I have been impressed by Jamie in my interactions with her since that time.  Dr. Courter and I have been working closely together the last 6 weeks, and I am excited to work together to serve the beef industry for years to come! Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina State University and earned a master's degree in animal

GeneSeek Meeting: Genotyping Embryos

Matt Barten
Founder, EMBRUON

We can now biopsy an embryo to extract a small number of cells. We can then extract DNA from that cell. In order to test that DNA with a SNP chip, it has to be copied (amplified) 2,100 times. This is like taking a bushel of corn and amplifying it to a trailer load of corn.

Biopsying an embryo only decreases embryo pregnancy rates by about 10%.

One of the straight forward applications of embryo biopsy is to look for carrier status of genetic abnormalies. We can now do a full GE-EPD test on these biopsies. This means we can actually decide which embryos to implant based on the embryo's genetic merit!
We can know earlier and earlier what the genetic merit is, allowing us a new way to shrink the generation interval.

Barten's company flushes a day early at 6.5 days, then send embryos back out at 7.5 days. They currently use human IVF tools to ship the embryos the same day. He biopsies the embryo and sends back the frozen embryos.

The biggest key to success is recipient quality and management.

Having both parents genotyped allows GeneSeek to assess the accuracy of the embryos genotype. GeneSeek also assess the quality of the DNA to see if it is suitable for SNP chip genotyping, or if they need to focus only on sex and genetic defects.

Decker's Take Home Message
As this technique and technology continues to develop, it will open up exciting new opportunities for shortening the generation interval and practicing within family selection. Half of the variation in the population is observed between full siblings.


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