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Sheep enter Genomic Era

The Australian Sheep Industry has entered the genomics era for sheep improvement in Australia. This bold statement is based on a number of developments.

  • Additional data from the Information Nucleus program during the last 6 months has had a significant impact on the accuracy of genomic predictions of breeding values. Importantly, the improvements have been in line with anticipated progress and provide the best indication to date that we are ‘on track’ with this new technology.
  • There are now a number of traits of economic and practical importance that rely on genomic predictions and for which useful accuracies are developing. These traits include predictions for horn-poll, dressing percentage, lean meat yield and intramuscular fat.
  • The number of rams now genotyped in the Australian sheep flock through the Information Nucleus Program and the two genomic pilot projects and industry sires used for validation, means that new and improved genomic predictions have a useful and widespread impact as soon as they become available. A good example of this is information on horn-poll status of all Merino rams genotyped to date.
  • Further improvements in accuracy are on the way and will build further value. Information Nucleus data will continue to accumulate over the next two years and will contribute to improved accuracy.


There is now a very positive challenge for the Australian sheep industry to work together to ensure that the potential benefits of genomic technologies are effectively developed and used. We know that genomics will work for the sheep industry – we now need to ensure that we capture the benefits.

The Sheep CRC is working closely with Sheep Genetics to develop a training initiative to improve skills and the tools to enable breeders and commercial producers to get the most out of genetic technologies.

For further information on Genomics Pilot Project II see the media release available for download under the 'News Releases' tab below.

Products & Training Resources Reports, Articles and Presentations

Products & Training Resources

ASBV Case Studies

Several case studies are available on the use and benefits of ASBVs - download the individual case studies below.

Australian Sheep Breeding Values - A guide for ram buyers

This guide is provided to help you understand the complexities of breeding profitable yet functional sheep that are right for your business.

Reports, Articles and Presentations

Sheep CRC Genomics Breakfast Workshop - LambEx 2012

During LambEx 2012 the Sheep CRC hosted a genomics breakfast workshop - download the papers from the workshop below.

SNP Chip - revolutionising genetics

This article appears courtesy of Meat & Livestock Australia (