Person holding a SNP chipSingle nucleotide polymorphism chip for chickens.

Broiler genetics company Cobb-Vantress and layer breeder Hendrix Genetics, have signed their third consecutive joint development agreement (JDA), pooling resources and sharing information to speed up poultry development.

The two companies set up their first JDA in 2008.

The idea is to investigate the fast-growing field of chicken genomics in partnership and to develop the next generation of genomic selection tools for the benefit of both companies.

See also: Poultry breeder on target for 500 egg bird

“The unique industry collaboration stimulates synergy and insight within and between both teams that can contribute to improved breeding programs and increased global production of safe, sufficient and secure food,” said a joint statement.

Dr Mitch Abrahamsen, senior vice-president of R&D at Cobb-Vantress, said the JDA provided more scale to the research program and had delivered surprising new insights over the years.

One example was the development of a cutting-edge single nucleotide polymorphism chip for chickens – a tiny glass slide that can analyse some 60,000 variations in DNA sequences, which act as genetic markers and are specifically targeted to Cobb and Hendrix chicken breeding lines.