The Institute advises the national government on the topic of farm animal genetics. Research areas include animal breeding and animal genetics. The main research focus thus includes investigations into characterization and maintenance of genetic resources, the development of biotechnology related to animal breeding, and the development of information technology strategies for the management of genetic resources on a global scale. Characterization of genetic resources includes the determination of individual phenotypic variance – for example, in growth and reproduction - and thus makes it possible to analyze the productivity limits of economically important animals. The procedures of reproduction biology, such as in vitro production (IVP) of embryos, somatic cloning and stem cell technology represent an additional research focus. The combination of recent discoveries in molecular genetics with the latest reproduction technologies permits the production of transgenic animals for research and for the development of new procedures in biomedicine.
The Institute is also involved in research on molecular microbiology and antibiotic resistance which are impotant for the diagnosis and control of bacterial infections in farm animals.
Researchers in the Institute currently participate in numerous collaborative research projects with both national and international organizations and have teaching responsibilities at several Universities.
In addition to the permanent scientific staff, a number of guest researchers work at the institute on a temporary basis. Furthermore, the institute has a large number of staff members who are employed permanently as technical personnel in laboratories, in animal husbandry, estate maintenance, information technology, workshops and administration. The Institute is organized in two departments, plus technical services and administration.