Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Semex teams up on no-horns genetics

Semex is teaming up with Recombinetics of Minnesota to develop genetic editing that eliminates cattle horns.

They know there are Holsteins that grow no horns and that the genetic trait is dominant, but it’s not a high priority with dairy farmers who look for other traits when they choose sires.

Rocombinetics uses genetic editing to kick out the gene that results in horns and to replace it with a gene that leads to no horns.

It is different from genetic engineering involved in genetically modified organisms (GMO) which has divided public opinion and acceptance of that technology. The technology for GMOs moves genes from one species to another - eg. a bacteria to a plant.

But genetic editing will require approval from federal government regulators in both Canada and the United States.