New cost-effective DNA test available to beef seedstock industry

Neogen GeneSeek is introducing a new, highly affordable genomic profiling test for seedstock production.

“The new GeneSeek® Genomic Profiler™ Ultra-Low Density (GGP uLD) will provide ample power for predicting traits that beef seedstock will pass along to their progeny. Never before have seedstock producers had such an affordable and powerful genotyping tool,” said Dr. Stewart Bauck, general manager of Neogen GeneSeek Operations.

Bauck said the new test will give breed associations a tool to expand the genotyping of seedstock replacement heifers.

“As we have presented this new product to our breed association customers, most have seen that the affordable power of the GGP uLD will be an attractive addition to their genotyping portfolios,” he added. The new product uses high-accuracy imputation to higher-density SNP arrays, but will cost about one-third the price, Bauck said.

“As you look at the evolution of these new tests, accuracy of genotyping tools is increasing while cost is dropping,” he added. Genotyping of replacement heifers has big advantages to the seedstock industry:

  • Producers obtain predictions on genetic merit early in the life of replacement heifers, allowing for genomically assisted selection of their future cows and cost optimization in heifer development.
  • Seedstock breeders can add value to heifers by selling them with genomically enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs).
  • Commercial cattle producers can purchase heifers with accurate GE-EPDs, improving their ability to manage the future direction of their own cow herd’s maternal, performance and carcass traits.
  • The cattle industry now has an affordable heifer test to combine with phenotype data collection efforts, speeding breed improvement and increasing the overall accuracy of genomic predictions.
  • By profiling heifers, rather than depending solely on collecting maternal phenotypes from sire progeny, breed associations can reduce the number of years it takes to assess economically important traits such as fertility traits that show up late in life.
  • This latest addition to the GGP portfolio is designed to help beef breeders maximize the value of moving to “one-step” genetic calculations.

“We have received positive feedback from the seedstock industry about this affordable new power in their genotyping tool kit,” Bauck said. “We are optimistic that this new test will significantly expand the number of beef seedstock that are genotyped. This expansion will improve the beef industry’s overall competitiveness in food production by helping shorten generational intervals and improve selection accuracy.”

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