Angus Genomic-Enhanced EPDs Include Pfizer Technology

US - Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI®) is now incorporating the High Density 50K (HD 50K) platform from Pfizer Animal Genetics into the American Angus Association’s® genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) for both carcase traits and residual average daily gain (RADG).
calendar icon 21 February 2011
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“Angus breeders submitting test samples for HD 50K to AGI may notice an increase in accuracy for carcass trait and residual average daily gain EPDs,” says Bill Bowman, AGI president and Association chief operating officer (COO). “This is part of our efforts to provide the most accurate, most rapid genetic feedback available in the beef cattle industry.”

HD 50K is the beef industry’s first and only commercially available high-density DNA panel with more than 54,000 markers and results for 14 economically important traits. Scott Bormann, Pfizer Animal Genetics North American business director, says this is a step in the right direction.

“Genomic-enhanced EPDs powered by HD 50K allow breeders and their customers to streamline their evaluation and selection process, and more accurately rank animals by combining both EPDs and DNA information in a single number,” Mr Bormann says. “Nothing delivers greater dependability to help predict the genetic merit of young, unproven Angus cattle, and enhance the scope of selection for difficult and hard-to-measure traits such as feed efficiency in relatively proven animals.”

The American Angus Association’s weekly National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) carcase trait EPDs are derived using the latest genomic data along with the Association’s extensive carcase database, ultrasound data, and other performance measures.

The RADG EPD released by the American Angus Association characterizes postweaning efficiency differences in future progeny of Angus breeding stock. The feed efficiency EPD capitalizes on the use of individual feed intake data, a sizeable growth database in Angus cattle, and genomic technology.

The trait predictions available from HD 50K, including those with GE-EPDs, are reported as percentile ranks. HD 50K percentile ranks are associated with molecular breeding values and benchmarked against nearly 8,000 animals tested with HD 50K in the database at Pfizer Animal Genetics. Percent ranks are reported to the nearest 1 percent. Lower percentile rank values generally indicate preferred ranking and more favorable genetic merit.

“Evaluating EPD information incorporating HD 50K enables producers to make more informed decisions based on their individual operations and goals,” Mr Bormann says. “This powerful information can help Angus seedstock breeders identify genetically superior young sires or females for a range of traits to accelerate their herd’s performance and that of their commercial customers.”

Continuing to work with Pfizer Animal Genetics will help to further the industry and offer additional options and information for producers, according to Sally Northcutt, director of genetic research, AGI.

“We continue to work toward utilizing genomic data in additional EPDs to benefit our members and their commercial customers, regardless of herd size,” Mr Northcutt says. “We are excited to make the Pfizer technology available to the industry as part of our selection tools, and we encourage breeders to visit our website for more information.”

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