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Showing posts from December, 2012

Lower Prices, More Genotypes

I was really happy to see that 23andMe has lowered prices in an effort to genotype 1,000,000 people. Luckily the effective population size (a measure of genetic diversity) is much smaller in cattle breeds, so many fewer animals are needed to design genomic selection programs!
But, in an effort to increase the number of animals in its training population with high accuracy EPDs (genetic predictions), the American Hereford Association is offering a cost-sharing program to offset DNA test cost for breeders. If I was a breeder with a bull who meet the AHA's criteria, I would be jumping at the opportunity. (And, if I can scrounge up the money during the holidays, I will be taking advantage of 23andMe's deal!)
See message from the AHA below. 

High Accuracy Bulls Sought, Cost-Share Option Available During the American Hereford Association (AHA) Board meeting the Board discussed its continued commitment to DNA testing more high accuracy sires. Hereford breeders who have a bull that d…

Beef Genomic Selection strategies

This past summer Hereford, Simmental, and Limousin breed associations announced genomic-enhanced EPD programs, following the lead of the Angus Association.  Two strategies have emerged, which I will call the commercial model and the genotype model.

The Commercial Model
In the commercial model, cattle producers send hair or other tissue samples to their breed association.  The association enters the identification information into its database, and sends the tissue sample to the DNA testing company (typically Pfizer or GeneSeek).  The DNA testing company extracts DNA from the tissue and runs a SNP assay.  These SNP tests contain hundreds or thousands of SNP markers, depending on the company.  The company then computes molecular breeding values (MBVs) based on the animals SNP genotypes.  A MBV is an estimated breeding value based solely on molecular markers.  The company then returns the MBVs to the breed association.  The breed association then uses these MBVs as an indicator trait to p…