Applied Animal Genetics

Research in Applied animal genetics focuses on

  • the hereditary background of complex characteristics and disorders in companion animals such as, but not limited to, dogs, horses and cats. Phenotyping is mainly done by morphometric assessment and association studies are done with genome wide association studies (GWAS), whole exome sequencing (WES) or even whole genome sequencing (WGS).
  • the microbial composition of the intestinal content of animals and the relation of this microbiome with nutrition and surrounding environment. The mapping of this microbiome is done using culture-independent DNA sequencing techniques.

Collaborations exist with

  • the Faculty of Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine: Focus on, but not limited to, orthopedic disorders such as hip laxity and elbow dysplasia in dogs. As a model for more fundamental genetic research, we use the trait “colorlessness or white spotting”.
  • the colleagues of BW 21 (Plant): We try to implement a more ecological approach of agriculture (Integrated Plant Animal Production System – IPAS or kiwiberry – egg - concept) in which animals, such as chickens and sheep, help plant growers in green management and pest control, and by this reduce the amount of labor and pesticides needed on their production sites.
  • the Belgian Center for Guiding dogs (BCG) and, in extension, with the International Guiding Dog Federation (IGDF): Breeding for a highly skilled and healthy guide dog for the blinds.