About us

EuroFAANG in a nutshell

EuroFAANG is a collaborative initiative that brings together several Horizon 2020 projects: GEroNIMO, AQUA-FAANG, BovReg, GENE-SWitCH, Rumigen, and HoloRuminant. These projects have established a closer relationship to coordinate their objectives within Europe, in association with the international FAANG (Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes) initiative.

The EuroFAANG project aims to create a sustainable pan-European infrastructure for genotype-to-phenotype (G2P) research across various farmed animal species. By refining and characterizing complex traits driven by functional genome elements, EuroFAANG seeks to enable accurate G2P predictions. This interdisciplinary effort combines expertise in genomics, breeding, phenotyping, and animal health, fostering collaboration and advancing farmed animal science in Europe.

Strategies and Objectives

Reasearch aims
Joint strategies
EuroFAANG aims to maximise user engagement and uptake of results by targeting a wide range of stakeholder groups.
Our shared objective is to characterise the regulatory mechanisms and functional components of the genome in farm animals. By doing so, we aim to unravel the underlying mechanisms of complex breeding traits that contribute to more efficient and sustainable animal production.

Although the genomes of most domesticated animals have been successfully sequenced, we still have a limited understanding of regulatory mechanisms and functional regions in the DNA. The EuroFAANG projects will: 

Improve functional annotation of genomes, including chromatin accessibility and modifications. 

Understand environmentally induced regulation of the genome through epigenetic mechanisms, leading to changes in gene expression. 

Estimate the transmission of epigenetic information to future generations. 

A significant output of the EuroFAANG initiative will be improved prediction models for breeding. These models will accelerate scientific and industrial research. Data generated by the projects is rapidly made publicly available via: 

 EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institutes public archives 

 Ensembl genome browser 

 EuroFAANG data portal 

Using genomic, epigenetic, and microbiome information, we can predict phenotypes in specific environments. This helps address the challenge of feeding a growing world population with sustainable and healthy food.  

Several complex traits (e.g. growth rate, feed efficiency, fertility, product quality) related to sustainable and efficient production in monogastrics (pigs and poultry), and assess whether the epigenetic effects induced by a major environmental factor (i.e. diet) on the embryonic genome persist in the offspring.

Precision breeding in aquaculture by enhancing traits of commercial relevance within the most important fish species used in European aquaculture (Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, European seabass, gilthead seabream and turbot), with a special focus on disease.

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EuroFAANG Research Infrastructure

In 2023, the EuroFAANG Research Infrastructure (RI) joined the EuroFAANG cluster as the first research infrastructure. Currently, EuroFAANG RI is in its conceptual phase, laying the groundwork for a robust research infrastructure. It envisions a sustainable pan-European platform that bridges the gap between genomics and phenomics in farmed animals. With total funding of €2.86 million, EuroFAANG RI aims to transform our understanding of animal genetics and traits.

Key Objectives

Common Data Structure and Access

EuroFAANG will create a unified data structure, supporting the FAANG Data portal and establishing an Elixir Community for ‘Domestic Animal Genomes and Phenomes.’ Researchers will have seamless access to valuable genomic and phenotypic data.

European Framework for Biobanking

The project aims to develop a robust framework for curation and biobanking of in vitro cellular models. This will facilitate efficient storage and retrieval of biological samples critical for G2P studies.

Improving Breeding, Phenotyping, and Genomic Technologies

EuroFAANG will foster collaboration and knowledge exchange in cutting-edge breeding techniques, advanced phenotyping methods, and genomic technologies. By expanding capabilities, researchers can unlock deeper insights into farmed animal traits.
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Integration with Existing Projects and Infrastructures

Building on six current H2020 projects, EuroFAANG will connect with established infrastructures for data management and agriculture across Europe. This collaboration will consolidate G2P research efforts, benefiting both European and global farmed animal communities.

Project Timeline: 2023–2025

By establishing EuroFAANG RI, Europe is taking a significant step toward advancing agricultural research and ensuring the well-being of farmed animals through scientific research, innovation and collaboration.

Species

RUMINANTS

The main production traits for ruminants known for their complex (epi)genetic and microbiome interactions: disease susceptibility (e.g. mastitis), robustness, efficiency (also in relation to GHG emissions) and heat- and stress tolerance.

MONOGASTRIC

Several complex traits (e.g. growth rate, feed efficiency, fertility, product quality) related to sustainable and efficient production in monogastrics (pigs and poultry), and assess whether the epigenetic effects induced by a major environmental factor (i.e. diet) on the embryonic genome persist in the offspring.

FISH SPECIES

Precision breeding in aquaculture by enhancing traits of commercial relevance within the most important fish species used in European aquaculture (Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, European seabass, gilthead seabream and turbot), with a special focus on disease resistance. dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

EMERGING SPECIES

Coming soon

EuroFAANG projects

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