and Animal Breeding
competitive marketplace, breeders are always searching for ways to maximize
genetic gains. Whether breeding efforts are targeted towards canola
for oil production or chickens for table eggs, the importance lies in
combining different genetic tools to maximize genetic improvement in
multiple traits in an economically feasible way. In order to remain
competitive, breeders are challenged to keep up-to-date with the latest
Foundations can help you identify appropriate technologies to enhance
your breeding efforts. More importantly, Genetic Foundations provides
technical assistance to help you integrate new tools into your existing
breeding program. Take advantage of Genetic Foundations' experience
and insights to help accelerate your genetic progress!
are examples of how Genetic Foundations can help:
genomic information from diverse databases
new genetic markers
and interpret genetic maps
and arrange genotyping projects
genotypic (marker) and phenotypic (trait) data
structured breeding populations
levels of inbreeding
markers and DNA fingerprinting: Pedigrees and parentage tests
today's breeding efforts require accurate tracking of parents and offspring,
not to mention ensuring and maintaining mating integrity. Despite the
best of intentions, and regardless of built-in systems to minimize problems,
mistakes are nearly inevitable. "Things" just seem to happen!
mistakes might go unnoticed, yet they will certainly affect your progress.
DNA markers offer the most robust method for tracking parentage. And
if a mistake is found, it is often possible to infer how the mistake
might have occurred.
below illustrate two different scenarios.
labeling mix-up was suspected in this example, and a DNA test
was conducted to find out. DNA samples from seven individuals
were prepared at two different times and tested using several
highly variable DNA markers.
from three of these markers are shown. Paired samples (adjacent
lanes on a DNA gel) from individuals 1-3 and 5-7 appear identical
for all three markers, whereas the samples from individual 4 (blue
boxes) are clearly different for all three markers, confirming
the suspected problem.
aware of such a mix-up can be extremely useful for interpreting
data from suspect individuals.
this example, parentage was being tested for 23 offspring from
one mating pair to ensure that all individuals had been properly
identified. Offspring containing non-parental DNA fragments, such
as those found in four individuals (red arrows and ellipses),
are indicative of pedigree errors.
the ability to confirm pedigrees can be invaluable for ongoing
A key point is that similar methods of DNA fingerprinting are used for
both matching individuals and for checking parentage.
you determine the most appropriate DNA markers for your fingerprinting
identify and organize the samples you need to collect
arrangements with an outside vendor to process your samples, and
the results and plan any further testing as may be indicated
a look at this pedigree, representing on investment of five generations
to produce an inbred experimental line.
your R&D program depended on 100% accuracy in such a pedigree,
wouldn't it make sense to verify that the matings were executed
Lines connect individuals to their parents in previous generations
(fathers, 1, as red lines; mothers, 2, as blue lines].
bioinformatics, and data mining
everyone recognizes the tremendous progress recently made in many areas
of genomics. How can anyone possibly keep up? It's a real challenge,
and frankly, a situation that's not likely to get much easier any time
soon. There's simply too much to know. One solution is to become more
adept at locating and manipulating information already residing in public
and private databases.
Foundations has broad experience in identifying and extracting data
from a variety of databases. If the data are available, we can track
them down and make them accessible. How would you like them prepared?
some examples of possible applications:
and compare available sequences corresponding to a gene of interest
potential microsatellite markers in a region of interest
putative candidate genes based on functional criteria or positional
train your staff to use existing on-line tools
analysis and experimental design
finally completed collecting observations for a long-term experiment
begun by your predecessor. You've located the original plans, but now
your challenge is to analyze all these data.
Foundations has experience in analyzing both discrete and continuously
distributed data. We can help you assess your data and determine the
best way to analyze it. If you know what you need, but just need some
additional help in getting it, that's OK too. Let us offer some assistance.
We use industry-standard analytical tools, (e.g. JMP, SAS) and can help
you transform data into more user-friendly formats (e.g. Word, Excel).
Contact us to explore how we can help.
Foundations can also assist with quantitative genetic analyses of various
sorts. Whether such datasets represent breeding populations or are instead
designed to describe natural populations, we can help you analyze and
interpret these statistical results.
pine seedlings in the picture on the right were part of a larger study
examining how variation among seed trees within a population, as well
as elevation differences among populations, contribute to seedling growth.
Quantitative genetic analyses showed significant variation among parents
and among populations.
resemblance can even be seen in trees.
four knobcone pine cones, two came from one pair of siblings, and the
other two from another pair of siblings.
match up the related pairs?
The two on the left came from one set of siblings, the two on the right
from the other.
Population, ecological, and environmental
geneticists use genetic tools to describe heritable variation within
and among natural populations of plants and animals. Sometimes these
genetic tools are based upon protein or DNA markers, and at other times,
measurement data are used instead. Whatever the tool, assessing within-species
biodiversity is an important step in evaluating population stability
and community viability.
remain a useful technology for sampling biodiversity within and among
populations. This gel depicts genetic variation among incense-cedar
trees collected from California's Sierra Nevada mountains.
Genetic Foundations has substantial experience in quantifying genetic
variation using various genetic approaches such as markers (e.g. isozymes,
organelle and nuclear DNA) and quantitative characters (e.g. statistical
years DNA-based methods are increasingly being used to determine what
species inhabit a given area or microclimate. This is especially true
for microbial communities, cryptic species, and the rhizosphere. Perhaps
you have a concern about the potential for microbial contamination in
a manufacturing process? Perhaps you wish to design a monitoring system
to provide a safeguard against a pathogen outbreak? Genetic Foundations
has experience in detecting both eukaryotic and prokaryotic contaminants
Genetic Foundations can help you monitor and assess biodiversity within
species, identify cryptic species, or maintain vigilance to avoid unwanted
biological agents such as contaminants or pathogens.
witness and intellectual property
DNA evidence is being introduced into criminal and civil litigation.
Perhaps you are developing a case in which DNA evidence might be used.
Are you prepared? Do you need someone to help assess this potential?
How can you assess the strengths or weaknesses of existing DNA evidence?
Genetic Foundations can help you determine whether DNA evidence might
help your case, or alternatively, assist in defending against potentially
developing a patent application for a new DNA-based technology? Perhaps
you are trying to define how narrow or broad to make your claim. Genetic
Foundations can assist you in tracking down background information on
related procedures and help to assess the uniqueness and utility of
lectures, and training
suddenly been asked to research a new topic area, perhaps to prepare
a white paper or to satisfy a customer's inquiry? Do you need an independent
assessment of a new opportunity? Looking for a quick study to provide
additional background on a competitor's new product? Genetic Foundations
can help you gain rapid access to this information by capturing and
evaluating bibliographic materials from a variety of sources. Our research
skills are unsurpassed. Moreover, we can help you draft, edit, or polish
technical communications or proposals, recognizing the importance of
rapid turnaround to meet impending deadlines.
Foundations can utilize these same skills to prepare and deliver presentations
on a variety of topics related to genetics, genetic applications, or
biotechnology. We have considerable experience in speaking to professional
and technical audiences, executives, trade organizations, customers,
students, and lay audiences.
Foundations can also help you with your training needs-either for yourself
or your staff. "Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach
him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime." Sometimes, it simply
makes sense to do something yourself-if you only knew how! Let us give
you a hand. Are you trying to learn a new software package? Perhaps
you're implementing a new laboratory procedure. We have considerable
hands-on experience with a variety of laboratory processes encompassing
both protein and DNA manipulations.
design and establishment
a new laboratory is no small venture. Sure, you can find someone willing
to sell you lots of fun stuff, but what do you really need? How do you
stretch those capital dollars by minimizing redundancy? Genetic Foundations
has designed and established new laboratories in both the public and
private sectors-typically on very tight budgets. Let us help you develop
the capital budget for your new lab, or instead, let us help you get
it set up if your budget is already fixed.