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Showing posts from May, 2016

eBEEF.org Monday: DNA Sample Collection

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Producers may wish to collect DNA samples on animals for a variety of reasons including parentage testing, quantitative trait testing, testing for genetic defects, or archival purposes.  This fact sheet discusses the current methods of DNA sampling. 
Please see the fact sheet for more information.  http://www.extension.org/pages/73198/dna-sample-collection#

eBEEF.org Monday: Genetic Markers of Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC) Susceptibility

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Complex diseases such as BRDC involve the influence of many genes and are by definition hard to predict. Genomic heritability estimates of BRDC susceptibility in Holstein dairy calves is moderately heritable (0.21). The Single Nucleotide Polymorphism assays are finding genomic regions associated with BRDC susceptibility, suggesting that genetic progress in these traits could be made by including the specific SNP markers that are indicators of BRDC disease risk in national cattle genetic evaluations.
Please see the fact sheet for more information.  http://www.extension.org/pages/73031/genetic-markers-of-bovine-respiratory-disease-complex-susceptibility#

eBEEF.org Monday: Beef Cattle Economic Selection Indices

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Selection indices provide a single value, usually reported in dollars, for the selection of breeding stock that optimizes selection on a number of traits that define profit in a particular production scenario.  Selection indices simplify selection by weighting EPDs by appropriate economic values to estimate the net merit of a selection candidate under a predefined breeding objective or goal.
Please see the fact sheet for more information.  http://articles.extension.org/pages/73372/beef-cattle-economic-selection-indices

Local Genetic Adaptation Grant

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Two experiences motivated me to research local genetic adaptation in beef cattle. First of all, as an extension specialist, when I visited with farmers and ranchers across the state of Missouri, you quickly find out that fescue toxicity and sensitivity are important issues for Missouri farmers and ranchers. Further, in the fall of 2013, my mom brought three head of her cattle to graze my pastures at my little farm. One of the cows completely fell apart on the fescue. I started thinking about this problem and soon realized my experience in population genetics could be used to address the issue.

In 2015, the USDA had a call for proposals to use breeding and genomics to address local genetic adaptation. After several nights of working till 4am, I had a proposal ready to be submitted in June. To my great surprise, in October I found out my grant was one of two selected for funding (a 5% funding rate). Last week, the USDA made the award announcement public.

Local genetic adaptation is sim…

Frequently Asked Questions: Hair Shedding Project

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1. How do I collect a DNA sample?
DNA samples, whether blood or hair bulbs, need to be collected on a GeneSeek barcoded card. Please contact Jared Decker (please CC Lena Johnson) or contact GeneSeek to order blood or hair cards. Do not contact breed associations for blood cards.

Information on collecting DNA samples has been presented by my eBEEF.org colleagues.

DNA Sample Collection



NEOGEN also has a document describing how to collect a blood sample.


2. Do my animals need to graze fescue to participate?
No, animals do not need to graze fescue to participate in this project. But, we do need to record whether or not the animal grazed fescue before the hair shedding score was recorded. In column M of the "DataRecording.xlsx" spreadsheet, titled "Toxic Fescue", the producer needs to answer "Yes" or "No" to the question of did the animal graze toxic fescue during the spring of the current year?

3. How much will the genomic test cost?
The research grant…