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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

GeneSeek Meeting: Genotyping Embryos

Matt Barten
Founder, EMBRUON

We can now biopsy an embryo to extract a small number of cells. We can then extract DNA from that cell. In order to test that DNA with a SNP chip, it has to be copied (amplified) 2,100 times. This is like taking a bushel of corn and amplifying it to a trailer load of corn.

Biopsying an embryo only decreases embryo pregnancy rates by about 10%.

One of the straight forward applications of embryo biopsy is to look for carrier status of genetic abnormalies. We can now do a full GE-EPD test on these biopsies. This means we can actually decide which embryos to implant based on the embryo's genetic merit!
We can know earlier and earlier what the genetic merit is, allowing us a new way to shrink the generation interval.

Barten's company flushes a day early at 6.5 days, then send embryos back out at 7.5 days. They currently use human IVF tools to ship the embryos the same day. He biopsies the embryo and sends back the frozen embryos.

The biggest key to success is recipient quality and management.

Having both parents genotyped allows GeneSeek to assess the accuracy of the embryos genotype. GeneSeek also assess the quality of the DNA to see if it is suitable for SNP chip genotyping, or if they need to focus only on sex and genetic defects.

Decker's Take Home Message
As this technique and technology continues to develop, it will open up exciting new opportunities for shortening the generation interval and practicing within family selection. Half of the variation in the population is observed between full siblings.


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