Project Number: 8042-31000-104-13-S
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 23, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2015
The ARS Project Plan has the objectives to generate genome-wide information on genetic variation to enable genetic diversity studies in native goats of Africa, facilitate improved germplasm preservation decisions based on this data, and provide information necessary to initiate large scale genetic improvement programs in Africa. The goal is to develop good scientifically based tools for animal improvement programs in Africa and to establish a cooperative network in such a way that the individual country breeding programs can leverage the efforts of one another and provide a nexus to enhance the cooperative efforts of advanced research institutions, such as ARS and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA).
ARS and the Cooperator will co-organize the second workshop for a focused group of scientific and institutional research program experts that will attempt to review current project status with key collaborators and stakeholders, develop strategies for genetic conservation, discuss methods/partnerships to implement findings into goat value chain improvement, and develop strategies/partnerships for genetic improvement. The overall goal of this workshop will be to develop a mutually agreeable and actionable plan for all the research partners. From this time forward, the Cooperator will also work with ARS in designing experimental plans for sample collection to generate the resource population of goats that will represent locally adapted breeds of importance in Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. The overall goal of this cooperation is to provide a suitable environment to ensure reliable recording of phenotypes, and facilities, if needed, for temporary storage of samples. The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA) locations may also provide training for other collaborative scientists participating in this project as needed. ARS will serve initially as the genome characterization center for the resource population and the goat genome assembly and as a training facility to build genome analyses capacity with ASARECA. Eventually, the results of characterizing the genomes of African goats will lead to the development and application of new breeding strategies to be implemented jointly by ASARECA and ARS scientists with other African partners. These tools will be available to other global partners interested in application of goat genome results.