Novel Approach to Linkage of Genomic and Phenotypic data for the U.S. Sheep Industry

There is an opportunity in the industry to tie all phenotypic and genotypic data of sheep together for ease of data management. The United Suffolk Sheep Association (USSA) would like to link Flock54 and Digital Ovine so that producers can easily access all their pedigree, production information, genomic results and parentage verification data. The DigitalOvine software implementation is complete and functioning for the Suffolk producers. Flock54℠ is a targeted genotyping panel that allows producers to test their flockís DNA for animal parentage and traits associated with disease, production and meat quality. Flock54ís DigitalOvine portal is also complete and functioning. The scope of this project is the time to develop and complete linkage between the two databases. This linkage has been successfully implemented between the DigitalBeef software and incoming genotypic data from specific analytic companies for numerous cattle organizations. This linkage of Flock54℠ and DigitalOvine will be achieved through building out the data platform of Digital Beef. Digital Suffolk will be the prototype model or beta test and will allow other breeds to access the database.

We are going to connect or link two currently in use platforms, Flock54℠ and DigitalOvine to make a single web-based platform that will support genetic data flow of flocks and individual animals. This project will provide a foundation for all producers and breed associations to analyze and identify desirable (i.e. economically important) and undesirable (i.e. disease) biological processes, including traits that are not easily observed or quantified. This data portal will enable producers to easily and accurately track animals in their flock and make informed decisions regarding health and husbandry. We will also do outreach to producers of all breeds of sheep with materials to explain the new data storage system available.