A New Era of Evaluations has Arrived
By David Selner
from the May 2008 issue of Holstein World
The geneticists at AIPL announced that they have released the first genomic predicitions of genetic merit on younger sires to cooperating A.I. studs. A large study has been going on at USDA looking at the DNA of 5,285 proven Holstein sires and 75 females provided by the A.I. studs.
Their DNA strands of genetic material were broken up into microscopic segments along all 30 bovine chromosomes. Then an analysis was done seeing if the differences between various DNA sections among different animals can explain the differences in the trait expression of those particular sires. This allowed the researchers to estimate the genetic effects of certain types of DNA sections called SNP's.
By knowing the genotype of an animal you can add the gene estimated effects along with the normal pedigree effects to come up with an enhanced genetic estimate. The average reliability of a normal young sire was about 36% reliable while the genome enhanced proofs average 76% reliable. The combination was much more accurate in predicting the eventual genetic estimate.
The latest genome evaluations of 623 young bulls and 29 heifers were just released to the people that paid for the research at USDA. They included members of NAAB (the A.I. studs) and the Semex alliance. A.I. organizations who contributed to the research have a five year period of exclusive rights to obtain genomic evaluations of mails from USDA.
The genotypes of females are not as clear at this time. The breed associations did provide some data on type for the project so they have been involved. But neither AIPL nore the breed organizations have announced when, how, or through whom you as a breeder might want to get involved. I am sure this will be coming out shortly.
For years, people have been predicting that we will be able to get accurate proofs by analyzing the genes that an animal inherited from their parents instead of the long wait for milking daughters to see the results of which genes were inherited.
Get prepared for a lot of changes to the breeding industry and how that might affect your breeding and marketing programs. At Holstein World, we are committed to keeping you as well informed as possible. Our passion for breeding equals yours and we all want to know what the future might bring.
This article is posted with permission from the May 2008, issue of Holstein World. For more information on this publication, please visit their Web site: www.holsteinworld.com