Researchers from universities across the country are analyzing genotype data in hopes of breeding cattle less susceptible to bovine respiratory disease.

The Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC) Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) is in its third year of a five-year study. Six universities are collaborating on the project to develop a disease-associated genetic information database of cattle that helps producers determine which cattle might have more disease resistance.

Genotype data on 780,000 genetic variants from 1,000 BRD calves and 1,000 healthy dairy calves was collected and analyzed. Now researchers are building a database and validating findings.

Jim Womack at Texas A&M University says researchers are comparing data between healthy and BRD-affected calves to identify consistent associations of a particular part of a genome.

“Right now, we’re just looking at sick animals and comparing them with healthy animals, looking to find variances consistently associated with the sick or the well animals. Our preliminary data looks very promising, though it will be awhile before we start releasing data to the public,” Womack said.

Results may result in crossbred animals less susceptible to BRD.

Read more about the project here.