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Friday General Session

Is There Gold in Those Genomes?

Wrapping up the first general session of the 2009 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) symposium, Iowa State University geneticist Dorian Garrick said work to apply genomic selection in beef cattle is moving forward.

“We were at a crossroads a year or two ago,” Garrick said, noting how there was uncertainty about how to move forward with DNA marker-assisted selection. There were questions about the respective roles of breed associations, DNA-testing companies and genomics companies. And there were questions about how to combine marker selection with expected progeny difference (EPD) values.

Dorian Garrick

Dorian Garrick, Iowa State University

Garrick said it is now understood that genomics companies will offer services that include computing molecular breeding values to enhance EPDs. It is known that enhanced EPDs will increase the accuracy of predicted performance for young genotyped cattle, with accuracy increasing according to market panel size. It also appears that market-assisted management is viable, particularly as demonstrated for sorting feedlot cattle into outcome groups. However, Garrick said, some breeds are poorly represented in discovery populations.

“In the future we can expect some breed associations to incorporate molecular breeding values into their national cattle evaluations. And we can expect ongoing improvement in accuracy,” Garrick stated. “And I expect the scope to expand to other breeds.”

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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