Thursday, December 20, 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 does not have a genomic-enhanced expected progeny difference (GE-EPD), has a weaning weight accuracy of better than .50 and was born in 2001 or after, can contact Toni Shapiro at the AHA office, and the AHA will pay $40 of the fees to have the bull DNA tested.
A list of high-use Hereford sires that the Association would like tested has been generated. To see if a bull you own is on that list, contact Jack Ward, AHA chief operating officer and director of breed improvement, at jward@hereford.org or at 816-842-3757.
For more about Hereford DNA testing visit the Hereford YouTube channel orHereford.org (PDF). 
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