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Hereford and Red Angus Heifers Recruited for Genomics Research

The University of Missouri is recruiting 2,500 Hereford heifers and 2,500 Red Angus heifers to participate in a heifer puberty and fertility genomic research project. Heifers should be registered Hereford, registered Red Angus, or commercial Hereford or Red Angus. Hereford x Red Angus crossbred heifers targeted for the Premium Red Baldy Program would also be a good fit for the research project. Producers must be willing to work with a trained veterinarian to collect the following data: ReproductiveTract Scores collected at a pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season. PelvicMeasurements (height and width) collected at the same pre-breeding exam 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the breeding season. Pregnancy Determination Using Ultrasound reporting fetal age in days. Ultrasound will need to occur no later than 90 days after the start of the breeding season. In addition, heifers must have known birth dates and have weights recorded eithe

Take Care When Collecting Hair Samples

I received this reminder from the American Hereford Association this morning:

Take Care When Collecting DNA

GeneSeek Inc., Lincoln, Neb., is the new American Hereford Association (AHA) DNA lab (learn more). The switch has not been without its challenges and one of those is that the new technology, SNP based, requires a lot more DNA than the previous technology. In other words, we have had several requests that have not fully been reported because the lab will not have enough DNA for each of the tests. Assays are different for the abnormalities, parent verification, horned/polled and 50k GE-EPD.
The bottom line is the lab needs a minimum of 80 hairs with the follicles and the best place to pull is right above the switch on the tail. This technology is also very sensitive to contamination due to pour-ons and other insecticides, so please keep that in mind. If you have any questions, contact Jack Ward at 816-842-3757.
SNP assays require large amounts of high quality DNA. From GENESEEK's instructions, the amount of hair should be about the thickness of a ball point pin.  For more information on collecting tissues for DNA extraction, check out this guide from MU Extension (website or pdf).

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