Genomics for food safety and sustainable animal production

B. Harlizius, H.J. van Wijk, J.W.M. Merks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing concern in society about the safety of animal-derived food, the health and welfare of farm animals and the sustainability of current animal production systems. Along farm animal, breeding genomics may contribute to a solution for these concerns. The use of genomic analysis tools, to achieve genetic progress in typical out-bred populations of farm animals, seems to be more difficult compared to `model` organisms or plants. However, identification of positional candidate genes may be accelerated by linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping. Recording of sustainable traits requires a large financial and logistic input and the economic advantages for the market are not as clear as for traditional selection traits. Examples show that the major genes causing variability for similar traits in different species are rarely the same. Therefore, for breeding purposes genomic analysis of the species of interest is needed. The fundamental knowledge obtained on the genetic architecture of complex traits will open new perspectives for the use of DNA tests in selection schemes. For food safety and traceability, DNA-based techniques evolve for monitoring and early warning systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • quantitative trait loci
  • leukocyte adhesion deficiency
  • meat quality traits
  • linkage map
  • dairy-cattle
  • muscle mass
  • photoperiod sensitivity
  • antibody-response
  • holstein cattle
  • flowering time

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