Genetics: Next-generation genomic test for Angus hits the market

Beef Central, 04/09/2015

A NEW genomic test enabling Angus producers to more affordably predict genetic merit across 22 commercially significant traits in registered cattle has been released to the market.

Zoetis’s new test, named i50K, leverages industry investment in the existing HD 50K for Angus genetic test, and latest advances in cutting-edge genotyping and imputation technology to better evaluate the genetic merit of Angus cattle.

australian-record-priced-angus-bullThe Molecular Value Predictions (MVPs) calculated by the new i50K test deliver the same increases in accuracy to Angus BreedPlan Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) as those delivered from the HD 50K for Angus test, with genomic information being incorporated into Angus BreedPlan for 14 traits.

The blended EBVs resulting from an i50K test consequently inform the same variety of selection, mating and marketing decisions as the HD 50K test, Zoetis said in a statement.

Based on a recalibration exercise carried out earlier this year, the i50K test is an evolution of Zoetis’s original HD 50K test, introduced in Australia in 2010. The HD 50K test will continue to be available and is designed for superior and influential sires and dams in the Angus breed and has been developed using EBVs supplied by Angus Australia.

Angus breeder investment in HD 50K over the past five years has built up a considerable database of high density genotypes, leading to the development of the new test.

Delivering the same information in a more cost effective package from lower-density genotypes, i50K assists with the same variety of selection and joining decisions as HD 50K for Angus, providing valuable information to stud and commercial producers alike.

i50K will provide up-to-date genomic calibrations to the Angus seedstock population available in Angus Breedplan.

Lower cost

“The new i50K genomic test is a result of HD 50K adoption, primarily by Angus breeders, advances in genotyping technologies and a process called imputation,” said Zoetis Animal Genetics’ Kent Andersen, associate director of global technical services.

“As a result, Zoetis and our breed association partner, Angus Australia, are able to offer i50K at a more cost-effective price, and Zoetis believes that will facilitate even greater adoption and advances in productivity for the beef industry.”

That reduction in cost is due largely to a process called imputation, used extensively in the dairy industry, and which Zoetis relies on for i50K. The imputation process uses pattern recognition to effectively determine higher density genotypes from a subset of lower density, strategically-selected genetic markers.

A practical example of the pattern recognition concept is people’s ability to easily read sentences even when some letters or words are missing from the sentence.

Knowledge is power

Knowing more, sooner, about an animal’s genetic potential helps breeders make selection, mating and management decisions with greater efficiency, Zoetis said.

Early on, breeders can be confident about whether an animal should be selected to enter the breeding herd, used as donor females in embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization programs, or culled for feeding purposes. i50K also guides decisions on whether bull calves should be performance tested and eventually sold as bulls for a variety of more clearly-determined purposes, or sold as steers.

i50K is now available for registered Angus animals through Angus Australia and includes sire verification as part of the service in cases where sires also have recorded genotypes.


  • To order a test, or learn more about i50K and how it can be used to help improve the accuracy, scope and profitability of breeding decisions, contact a Zoetis representative, or click this website link for details.


Source: Zoetis


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