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Current Projects: Dr. Jim Reecy

Improving the Nutritional Quality of Beef

Research project: "Utilization of Natural Genomic Variation to Enhance Nutritional and Health Values of Beef"

For the first time, beef producers may be able to identify beef that will improve the health of the consumer thanks to research underway at Duck Smith Farms in Meridian, OK, and Jack Cowley Commercial Angus Ranch in Montague, CA. Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) and DNA markers are being developed as a means to select animals for enhanced nutritional value of beef. Researchers hope that this project will offer beef producers the tools they need to improve marbling, fat composition, iron content, and other nutritional components.

The research team will focus on the following areas:

  • Identify DNA markers associated with the nutrient composition of beef
  • Develop genomic tools for beef producers to identify animals with enhanced nutrient qualities
  • Compute genetic evaluations (EPDs), utilizing DNA marker information, to identify genetically superior animals

In the future, they hope to:

  • Identify novel nutrients in beef that are associated with human health
  • Conduct nutrition trials to determine how beef nutrients impact human health.

Beef is a great source of nutrients and this study will further enhance the health benefits of eating beef. The project is sponsored by Pfizer Animal Genetics, the global livestock genomics business unit of Pfizer Animal Health.


Research Team

Dr. Jim Reecy, Project Director
Iowa State University
Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics
Email: ude.etatsai@yceerj

Dr. Don Beitz
Iowa State University
Agricultural Biochemistry

Dr. Dorian Garrick
Iowa State University
Quantitative Genetics

Dr. Richard (JR) Tait
Iowa State University
Quantitative Genetics

Dr. Jon Schoonmaker
Iowa State University
Animal Physiology

Dr. Raluca Mateescu
Oklahoma State University
Animal Molecular Genetics

Dr. Deb Van Overbeke
Oklahoma State University
Meat Science

Dr. John Pollak
Cornell University
Breeding and Genetics

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam
University of California, Davis
Animal Biotechnology and Genomics

Dr. Rohan Fernando
Iowa State University
Quantitative Genetics