Ginkgo and Texas A&M University Awarded USDA Grant to Conduct Genomic Animal Research

September 29 2023

We’re excited to announce that Ginkgo Biosecurity and Texas A&M University have been jointly awarded a research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service via the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to study SARS-CoV-2 in white-tailed deer populations in Texas.   

Texas A&M will screen both historic and newly collected samples for the presence of the virus, which Ginkgo will then sequence and analyze. Results of the research can give the agriculture and livestock industries the data points needed to develop infrastructure in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in deer and future zoonotic disease outbreaks impacting livestock.

Ginkgo also plans to use the information from this research to monitor for zoonotic spillover in the future, building biosecurity infrastructure international governments can use to strengthen their biosurveillance efforts and establish early warning systems.

“We look forward to collaborating with Ginkgo to further understand how SARS-CoV-2 is spread through this deer population,” said Dr. Sarah Hamer, professor of epidemiology and lead researcher on the project. “This research will be vital in identifying interventions to reduce the risk of diseases in farmed animals, humans, wildlife and other domestic animal populations.”

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