Angus in step with push to upgrade DNA in EBVs

Angus becomes third cattle breed to introduce one-step analytical model for generation of its EBVs


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Angus Australia's strategic projects manager, Christian Duff, says the single-step analytical model for generating EBVs was a great step forward for the breed. He is pictured at the UNE's Tullimba research feedlot.

Angus Australia's strategic projects manager, Christian Duff, says the single-step analytical model for generating EBVs was a great step forward for the breed. He is pictured at the UNE's Tullimba research feedlot.

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Brahmans and Herefords have already adopted the single-step method.

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Angus has become the third Australian beef breed to simultaneously combine genomic information with pedigree and performance data  when calculating Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs).

Brahmans and Herefords earlier this year adopted the single-step method for generating EBVs in their Breedplan EBVs.

Angus Australia’s strategic projects manager, Christian Duff, said the single-step analysis model would increase the accuracy of EBVs for the breed.

Speaking at an Angus research update at the University of New England’s Tullimba research feedlot at Torryburn west of Armidale last week, Mr Duff said the single-step analysis represented a “great step forward”.

Andrew Byrne, Angus Australia’s breed development and extension manager, told visitors that genomics (DNA testing) was going to play a major part in the industry’s future.

They were speaking the day after EBVs for all Angus animals were re-estimated in the December Angus Breedplan figures using the new analytical model.

Mr Byrne said the new-single step approach would ensure Angus breeders had access to the latest genetic evaluation technology.

The development of the single-step Angus EBVs was a result of collaborative research during recent years between the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI), Angus Australia, the NZ Angus Association with funding help from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

Genomic information has been incorporated into Angus Breedplan genetic evaluations  since April 2011 with genomic profiles now available for more than 30,000 animals.

In a statement, Dr Brad Cook, manager of genetics research and development at ABRI, said the new single-step analytical model “revolutionises the whole approach to incorporating genomics in Angus Breedplan”.

“Rather than blending genomic predictions with traditional EBVs, the single-step analytical software combines the pedigree, performance and genomic information from the start, one process, with all sources of information being used together.

“This means the genomic information contributes directly to EBVs and accuracies, without requiring external prediction equations and contributes to all traits in the main multi-trait Angus Breedplan analysis, not just a sub-set of traits for which prediction equations exist,” Dr Cook said.

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