New genomic technologies have revolutionised our approach to animal breeding and increased the rate of genetic change. This virtual issue brings together a selection of research articles that review research progress and updates our knowledge of the delivery of livestock genomics research applications, specifically for the beef and dairy cattle and sheep industries globally.
The application of genomic technologies has been difficult in the extensive industries (e.g. beef, dairy and sheep) because of the need to accurately predict performance of animals across multiple breeds. This requires access to denser single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panels and many more animals than those required for single/major breeds such as those in the intensive industries (e.g. pig and poultry). High density SNP panels only became available to scientists in the beef industry in late 2010, meaning that prediction equations based on those panels are just now being developed.
Regardless of the pace of change and the very different ways that the technologies are being used by the different industries, each industry has experienced tumultuous changes and has had to adapt to many new challenges thrown up by those changing technologies. Through shared learning, DNA-based technologies will continue to revolutionise the way that livestock businesses breed and manage their animals to improve the productivity and profitability of their enterprises.