Elk Research Foundation

Project 1903 - Elk DNA Genomic Sequencing Collection Analysis

The Elk Research Foundation is starting phase two in the quest of learning more about elk sequencing technologies. The ERF is working with Dr. Chris Seabury of Texas A&M University, who has developed DNA technologies or white-tailed deer and mule already.

In early 2019, the ERF finished Project 1902, which began work with Dr. Seabury on how DNA sequencing can provide a pathway to the development of a reference genome and/or DNA technologies similar to those developed for other deer and livestock species. There are several steps to take place in the process, but collecting elk DNA samples was the first targeted goal. By March, over 400 hair samples were collected on farmed elk from different regions across the continent. These samples are normally utilized for parentage, but in this case, will also be utilized for DNA sequencing, with the primary objective being the development of DNA technologies for Elk.

At the recent ERF Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Chris Seabury discussed next steps. "We have enough samples collected, so we can begin work on fragmenting and sequencing the DNA," Seabury told the Board. "Once that is accomplished, we can move on from there."

The elk samples are being released to Dr. Seabury. He is anxious to begin his analysis.

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