Canine nutritional genomics

AniGenics, Inc.
Award Amount: $225,000
PI: L.B. Schook
Start Date: December 1, 2001
End Date: April 1, 2003

This is an exciting time for biological scientists as the “omics” era continues to evolve and shape the way science is understood and conducted. As genome sequencing of the human comes to a close, other mammals are in line to be sequenced. Along with pigs and cows, dogs are now on the high priority list for sequencing, and cats may soon follow suit. Until sequence data are available, genetic maps may be used to reveal important physical characteristics of a genome. Genome mapping is important in identifying gene placement, but gives little information regarding function. Therefore, functional genomics, including the global analysis of RNA and protein expression, protein localization and protein-protein interactions will emerge as important areas of study. The major use of the dog and cat genome maps hitherto has been for the study of human and veterinary medicine. These powerful resources also can be applied to the field of nutritional genomics and proteomics, enhancing our understanding of metabolism and optimizing companion animal nutritional and health status. Genomics has begun to be applied to nutritional research, but issues specifically relevant to companion animals have not been elucidated thus far. The study of genomics and proteomics will be crucial in areas such as nutrient requirement determination, disease prevention and treatment, functional ingredient testing and others. Nutritional genomics and proteomics will definitely play a vital role in the future of pet foods.