Zoetis and Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) announced the completion of the world’s largest and most comprehensive genomic calibration for beef cattle and associated integration into genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs).
With this new calibration, Angus breeders and commercial users of Angus genetics can now make even more dependable and informed decisions using DNA test results incorporated into weekly genetic evaluations. With genotypes for more than 100,000 animals and the updated training encompassing more than 15 maternal, growth, efficiency and carcass traits, this calibration supports every Angus dollar index.
“The value of GE-EPDs powered by HD/i50K continues to grow,” said Kent Andersen, Zoetis director of genetic technical services, U.S. cattle-equine. “With this latest calibration, we’re able to offer a broader variation for traits related to maternal efficiency, including heifer pregnancy, calving ease and mature cow weight. This increased level of genetic variation will enable our customers to benefit from more accurate GE-EPDs for young Angus animals, while supporting more dependable selection, mating and marketing decisions.”
This calibration supports all recognized genomic testing options for registered Angus seedstock. From Zoetis, this includes HD 50K and i50K. This is the fifth calibration executed by AGI and Zoetis. HD 50K and i50K tests include parentage verification and enable sire assignments for commercial Angus users of GeneMax Focus and GeneMax Advantage, as the markers used in those tests are also included in the HD 50K and i50K genotyping platforms.
“We’ve now tested notably more animals than there are genetic markers in the commercial tests used by seedstock producers,” continued Andersen. “The number of Angus animals with genotypes used in GE-EPDs is currently in excess of 225,000 animals. Both phenotypic data and the accuracies built through the calibration process work to better characterize the genetic merit of registered Angus cattle – and set the stage for further advancements in the science of genetic prediction.”
Since June 2011, Zoetis R&D has partnered with the American Angus Association and AGI, the organization’s genetic services subsidiary, to train marker effects using registered Angus animals from the historic and current population, with both DNA information and performance records submitted by Angus breeders. For more information on this latest genomic calibration for GE-EPDs, visit the www.angus.org.