Honors Gallery

2009 Hyperspectral imaging for food quality and safety inspection Mid-Atlantic

Award: Excellence in Technology Transfer

Year: 2009

Award Type:



A team from the Agricultural Research Ser-vice, Beltsville Area (ARS-Beltsville) de-veloped a fiber optic beadchip that specifically assays single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) DNA markers from over 58,000 locations distrib-uted across the bovine genome. The first technology developed was an SNP discov-ery strategy built on next-generation DNA sequencing to identify the additional SNP needed to build a beadchip. The second development was the design of an SNP se-lection algorithm to optimally select SNP for genotyping assays. This algorithm was im-plemented and distributed as a stand-alone computer software package called SNP-Se-lect. The final, and probably the most im-portant, transfer of technology was com-mercialization of the resulting DNA assay as a high quality research tool (cattle beadchip).The main recipient of this technology trans-fer process was Illumina, Inc., of San Diego, California, the leader in producing instrumen-tation and genetic analysis assays for ge-nomics and genetics research. Illumina was interested in ex-panding into the agricultural sciences market by develop-ing a product that would be useful in cattle research. In addition to ARS-Beltsville and Illumina, the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and the Uni-versity of Missouri participat-ed in the effort to develop the SNP technology, also known as the BovineSNP50.This technology has become the de facto standard for cattle genomics research and genetic prediction use around the globe. SNP is used to make selection decisions on bulls by Holstein breeders, and is also be-ing used by cattle breeders across the U.S. and Canada. Since its inception, sales of BovineSNP50 now total more than 70,000 samples for 23 scientific locations in 11 countries