Genetic composition of our livestock breeds and aquatic species determine how well the livestock and aquaculture industries can respond to new consumer, environmental, or food security demands. We know from our work that U.S. animal populations are quite diverse and plastic. This enables industry to mold and shape different livestock breeds and fish populations for varying purposes. Our mission is to build germplasm and tissue collections that are at least as diverse as existing populations and make those samples available for utilization by a range of customers. We use molecular and quantitative tools to assess genetic diversity in and among livestock populations. As a result we are able to quantify genetic diversity levels within the collection and live populations. Having such a bench mark enables us to monitor whether or not breeds are likely to have genetic diversity problems and if so - offer recommendations on how to navigate through such situations.
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