DNA analysis may soon be used to make better beef

US - Livestock shows long have spotlighted improvements in farm animals by painstaking breeding over many years and generations.
calendar icon 14 December 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
Now an important shortcut is on the horizon, and Missouri's $1.5 billion beef-cattle business could be positioned to use DNA analysis to get the most value from selecting, feeding and slaughtering animals for consumers.

"After we take the hide off, there are a lot of genetic differences in our cattle," said Sue DeNise, vice president of research and development at MMI Genomics Inc. of Davis, Calif. "The basic premise is that differences in DNA lead to differences in animals."

DNA analysis for livestock is nearing the commercial stage for beef cattle and, in a few years, can be used for other meat and dairy animals if farmers want to pay for the information. Advertisement

Traditional breeding requires a mix of visual observations of an animal's characteristics, the breeder's experience and intuition, and an analysis of the its carcass after slaughter to improve meat-producing qualities in future generations

Source: STL Today
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