Precision Breeding Technology

Acceligen_logoGene editing makes it possible to make genetic improvements in animals faster and more accurately than is possible in a conventional breeding program.

Our subsidiary, Acceligen, leverages our proprietary, first-in-market platform to deliver Precision Breeding technology to the livestock, meat and milk production industries. Blue ribbon traits can be introduced in one generation. What used to take many years of cross-breeding trial and error, can now be done quickly and more accurately.

Whether the desired outcome is an improvement to the productivity of animals or an improvement to the health and disease resistance of animals, or improved sustainability, we offer a safe technology to make livestock production more cost-effective.

Acceligen works with collaborators around the world to improve livestock disease resilience, increase food productivity and enhance animal welfare. In pioneering methods for Precision Breeding, we utilize advanced gene-editing technologies.

The Acceligen Precision Breeding platform delivers specific, natural refinements and precise, highly beneficial animal traits through advancements in genetic improvement. Developed by an experienced team of geneticists, genome scientists, livestock breeders and reproductive physiologists, our technology enables animal breeders to speed up genetic progress, avoiding the delays inherent in a conventional breeding program, without using chemicals or hormones. The result is better animal health, welfare and productivity.

Sustainability Traits

A major challenge confronting animal producers is the need to reduce the cost and environmental impact of livestock production while meeting the growing demand for meat and milk products. Acceligen technology uses natural cell processes to rapidly and precisely improve livestock genetics.

Increasing the productivity of animals through genetic improvement is a vital component of the drive for more sustainable livestock production – and Precision Breeding will accelerate the process.

Improving Feed Conversion

Naturally occurring productivity and quality traits can be rapidly introduced into vertical breeding regimens or horizontal production systems, quantifiably increasing retail product yield and meat quality – all with better feed-conversion efficiency.

Enhancing Milk Production

Multiple genetic variants that contribute to milk production and composition can be precisely introgressed into any cattle or goat breed. Additionally, milk is critical to neonatal nutrition and disease resilience in growing piglets, calves, lambs and kids. Acceligen’s breeding platform provides breeders the ability to enhance the composition of colostrum, milk and saliva to improve neonatal and juvenile robustness and growth.

Environmental Adaptation

Precision crossbreeding is being used to introduce adaptive traits tailored to deliver animal robustness for a variety of production settings and feedstuffs, including both subtropical and tropical production systems.

Boosting Fertility

Acceligen technology is being used to eliminate congenital infertility traits that have and will continue to emerge in selective breeding programs, which are detected only after reaching pedigree-damaging frequencies. Gene-editing can be used to restore valuable genetics to full potential, rapidly increasing reproductive efficiencies across the board.

Health and Welfare Traits

Animal welfare is largely determined by how animals are managed by humans. Certain management practices can lead to increased stress or increased risk of disease, which further reduces the welfare of the animal. Animal welfare is also closely linked to human health. Healthy animals are more productive and produce healthier food for consumers. A growing list of genes that impact animal health and welfare can be edited with Acceligen Precision Breeding technology.

Disease Resilience

Breeding for enhanced resilience to disease has been a long-sought goal of animal breeders, but until the advent of Precision Breeding, the ability to breed for disease resistance was not practical. The growing knowledge of genes and mechanisms of disease resilience are changing the old paradigm and enabling breeders to enhance disease resilience through genetics.

Tackling Tough Diseases

Acceligen technologies are being used to battle Foot and Mouth Disease, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), the African swine fever virus (ASF) and others.

Across the Chain

Animal health problems have impact far beyond the farm on which they occur. Animal disease outbreaks can cause increased disease risks in humans, food safety hazards and economic losses that impact the global economy. The BSE (“Mad Cow”) outbreak in the United Kingdom resulted in losses greater than $10 billion to the UK livestock sector. Economic models of a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in the U.S. suggest that economic losses would exceed $14 billion. Global expenditures on animal health products run about $22 billion per year. Clearly, enhanced disease resilience and resistance would have a major impact on livestock producers and the livestock economy.

Improving Management

Precision Breeding technology is providing the opportunity to use genetic tools to replace certain management practices that are necessary but undesirable. Acceligen is actively working to provide livestock producers with the option to genetically dehorn cattle, dock swine tails and eliminate the need for male animal castration.

Genetic Dehorning

Disbudding and dehorning is a necessary but unpleasant management practice that must be used by most dairies, many beef operations and other livestock producers to protect people and animals. The methods currently used cause animals a great deal of pain and sometimes result in infections requiring additional treatment, which can mean significant losses in productivity.

Although disbudding and dehorning are recognized as a requisite practice in modern livestock systems, cattle producers would like to avoid the animal welfare and performance issues that arise from current methods of dehorning.

Watch a video on this precision breeding alternative to dehorning:


Targeted and Custom Trait Development

Acceligen works with breeders to develop and introgress specific traits of interest into our clients’ herds. Through Precision Breeding, Acceligen is tailoring high-merit matings to deliver our targeted traits into the most advanced genetics. Our Custom Trait Development program provides an unmatched level of specialization that meets the specific needs of each client.

Precision Breeding Isn’t Genetic Modification

Gene editing enables efficient breeding by targeting genes already present and native to the species. This differs from genetic modification (GM), which inserts genes from an entirely different species into the genome to produce a GMO animal.

Gene-edited animals contain DNA that is IDENTICAL to what is widely consumed and generally recognized as safe (GRAS). 

Contact Us

To discuss trait development for your livestock animals, contact Tom Erdmann at