Angus Genetics Inc Accepting DNA Samples

US - Angus breeders may now submit samples to Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) for the Pfizer Animal Genetics High-Density 50K. The results will be incorporated into future genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs).
calendar icon 14 December 2010
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AGI, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Angus Association®, currently incorporates Merial IGENITY® samples into the Association’s weekly National Cattle Evaluation to provide genomic-enhanced selection tools. AGI is working to also incorporate Pfizer samples into the industry’s largest beef cattle database.

“There is still work to be done to incorporate Pfizer’s High-Density 50K predictions into American Angus Association National Cattle Evaluation procedures,” says Bill Bowman, AGI president and Association chief operating officer. “We are excited to make the Pfizer technology available to the industry as an additional component of our selection tools, and we encourage breeders to visit our web site,, as more details are available.”

AGI offers a suite of services in addition to genomic trait tests. Breeders can submit DNA samples directly to AGI for defect testing and parentage testing. More details can be found at and through breeders’ AAA Login accounts.

Bowman adds: “This approach provides breeders with a centralized resource to order and store DNA for a variety of genomic tests and for future sample access.”

AGI and the American Angus Association currently offer updates of the entire National Cattle Evaluation every week, providing the most accurate, most rapid genetic feedback available in the beef cattle industry.

FTA cards used to submit samples may be purchased through AAA Login.

Earlier this year, University of Illinois researchers identified the mutation causing Contractural Arachnodactyly (CA; formerly Fawn Calf Syndrome), a genetic abnormality affecting Angus and Angus-derived cattle.

Jonathan Beever, U of I associate professor in the department of animal sciences and lead researcher, said his team in collaboration with Pfizer Animal Genetics completed the correct assembly of the DNA sequence responsible for CA on June 8. Since then, they have developed DNA tests based on this mutation.

"CA is a genetic abnormality inherited as a simple recessive," Beever said. "Some debate exists about its classification as a genetic defect because many CA-affected calves survive and can reach reproductive age. However, at the population level, CA behaves as a lethal genetic defect and should be classified as such."

A random sampling of AI sires provided from members of the National Association of Animal Breeders allowed researchers to accurately estimate the allele frequency while providing information on animals that have significant influence on the total population.

Genetic testing is the only definitive way to identify carriers of the gene who could pass on the mutation.

Further Reading

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