March 10, 2010

The Pennsylvania Center for Beef Excellence (CBE) in collaboration with the Livestock Evaluation Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture provided genetic marker testing for all performance tested bulls this year.

In the past, this service was available by request.  The CBE believed that offering this new technology can help producers make informed decisions in securing new genetics and marketing those progeny.  The new-age genomic profiles go far beyond the first DNA marker tests that were introduced in years past, which only included a handful of genetic markers.

The modern genomic profiles result from a panel of DNA markers.  The common terminology for a genetic panel is a “snips” (SNPs, single-nucleotide polymorphisms). A SNP alone will not verify a trait, but a panel of critically selected SNPs for multiple traits provides molecular breeding values that can be used in the calculation of EPDs.  The individual breed EPD calculations already use multiple sources of information.

The genomic values become an additional piece of information.  For more information concerning the use of genetic profiles, contact the respective breed association to determine which test and panel is appropriate for a specific breeding program.

The Pennsylvania Center for Beef Excellence was proud to be able to participate in this year’s Bull Testing Program and hopes that these genetic tests will open opportunities for producers and their herds.