To Russia with love

Developing Kent–Russian connections in April 2015 CISoR’s Dr Michael Romanov and our collaborator Dr Denis Larkin, of the Royal Veterinary College, London visited the All-Russian Research Institute for Farm Animal Genetics and Breeding in Pushkin and St Petersburg State University. They were invited seminar speakers and delivered talks about livestock and avian genetics and genomics. Highlights of the seminar were genomic selection in cattle, genome-wide diversity in sheep, and evolutionary genomics in birds. Their Russian counterparts reported studies on high throughput genome-wide genotyping of a dairy breeding stock and examination of variation in candidate genes for poultry productive and reproductive traits. The parties set up plans for continuing partnership and collaborative research.


Denis (left) and Mike (right) in the Institute’s Hall of Fame:


The Spectre of a return trip

In October 2015, Mike and Denis were re-invited for an extension seminar course followed by an international scientific meeting at the All-Russian Research Institute for Farm Animal Genetics and Breeding in Pushkin. These events coincided with the Institute’s 75th anniversary celebration. The lectures and hands-on sessions were focused on theoretical and practical aspects of contemporary genetics and genomics in livestock and birds. Their topics involved farm animal and avian genomes, genetic variation and markers, economically important genes, novel sequencing and SNP technologies, genome assembling and annotation tools. Reports at the international conference dealt with improvement of livestock (cattle, swine) and poultry species and breeds, their performance and fecundity, using genetic, genomic and transgenesis techniques. The Russian colleagues showed an interest in collaboration with the UK researchers regarding genomic applications in chicken selection.


Reproduction “motifs” in the Animal Genetics Institute interior design