Showing posts from May, 2016

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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 Monday: DNA Sample Collection

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

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. Monday: Beef Cattle Economic Selection Indices

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.  

Local Genetic Adaptation Grant

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 i

Frequently Asked Questions: Hair Shedding Project

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 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 te