Genomic Testing 'Is to Become Routine for All' CATTLE

The Journal (Newcastle, England), January 29, 2014 | Go to article overview

Genomic Testing 'Is to Become Routine for All' CATTLE


Byline: JO BLAKEMORE jo.blakemore@ncjmedia.co.uk

AREVIEW of current progress on the use of genomic evaluation in cattle breeding was just one of the subjects covered at the Cattle Breeders Conference, which was held in Shropshire recently, organised by the British Cattle Breeders Club.

DairyCo's Marco Winters explained the principles behind genomics and reported that accuracy levels had lived up to expectations to date.

The technology was first made available with the publication of DairyCo's Holstein bull proofs in April 2012, with the evaluation of Holstein females launched last year. Other dairy breeds are expected to follow.

Separately, the British Limousin Cattle Society is also involved in a project to produce genomic beef EBVs (Estimated Breeding Values) and information will be available in 2015.

Genomics is a method of refining the traditional evaluation system, which relies on pedigree information, performance recording and progeny assessment, Mr Winters told delegates.

The new technique uses samples taken from nasal swabs or hair, with DNA analysed, to give an indication of future performance potential.

"I am not claiming that genomic predictions are 100% accurate, but our studies show that they are reliable and can be used successfully as a selection tool," said Mr Winters. …

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