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Technical Keynote Session 4

Proposed Guidelines for EPDs on Clones

Dan Moser

Dan Moser, Kansas State University

While relatively few clones of beef cattle have been produced, there is potential for more application of somatic cell cloning technology. And that raises a question about how expected progeny difference (EPD) values should be calculated for clones of breeding animals.

Kansas State University animal scientist Dan Moser raised that question during discussion of advancements in genetic prediction at the 2009 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) symposium. Moser said breeders who consider cloning expect the resulting animals to be genetic replicas of the donor, and most breeders expect donors and their clones to have identical EPDs.

“Clones have identical chromosomes to donors, but will they transmit equivalent genetic effects? That’s a question with no definitive answer,” Moser said.

That assumption could be tested when sufficient progeny of clones are born and evaluated, Moser said, but it’s too early for that. He also noted that measurements taken are not very useful for genetic evaluation due to the influences of different environments and health issues.

According to Moser, some breed associations have created policies regarding genetic evaluation of clones, while others have appealed to BIF for guidance. Therefore, a committee of geneticists and industry representatives is reviewing current scientific literature and comparing policies established by beef and dairy organizations, for the purpose of making a recommendation regarding genetic evaluation of clones.

“Early discussion among committee members suggests most believe EPDs for clones would be the same as for their donors, but with some reservations about accuracy,” Moser said. “The committee will confer again and present proposed guidelines to the [BIF] board of directors.”

Editor’s Note: This summary was written under contract or by staff of Angus Productions Inc. (API). To request reprint rights contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at 816-383-5270. PowerPoints are posted with permission of the presenter and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the presenter.

The 41st BIF Research Symposium and Annual Meeting was hosted by the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association and the California Cattlemen's Association. For more information, visit www.bifconference.com or www.calcattlemen.org/bif2009.html.


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