THE Wagyu breed is set to move to a Single-Step BreedPlan analysis for objective measurement, following in the footsteps of the Brahman, Hereford and Angus breeds.
Presenting to a genetics and genomics technical workshop for the Australian Wagyu Association in Brisbane recently, the director of the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit at the University of New England, Dr Rob Banks, showed the increase in accuracy of Estimated Breeding Values that would increase for a Single-Step Breedplan analysis for the Wagyu breed.
“Single-Step Breedplan analysis means that genomic test results for a subset of animals are combined with performance measurements and pedigree information for non-genotyped animals, to more accurately estimate the genetic merit of each animal in the analysis for a range of traits,” Dr Banks said.
Currently the routine Wagyu Breedplan analysis does not include the results of genomic testing.
“The improvement in accuracy of the EBVs comes from more precisely knowing the relationship of animals that have genotypes,” Dr Banks said. “The new analysis will produce genomically-enhanced EBVs for all animals which have a genomic test, as well as distributing the extra accuracy that comes from using genomic information through the entire pedigree, according to the relationship between animals.”
Dr Banks demonstrated the extensive testing by AGBU of Single-Step Wagyu Breedplan on Marbling Score EBVs in which the genomic information improved the accuracy of the EBVs by an average of 10 percent.
“For animals with low accuracy EBVs (below 50pc), this lift is on average greater than 10pc. These are animals that have little performance data recorded (e.g. newly born calves) so these animals benefit most from Single-Step,” he said.
The graph above (click on image for a larger view) demonstrates the improvement in accuracy of predicting the Marbling Score EBV within testing of Single-Step Wagyu BreedPlan. The horizontal axis is the accuracy with no genomic information, and the vertical axis is the accuracy with the inclusion of genomic information. The increase in accuracy is greatest for EBVs which have low accuracy prior to the inclusion of genomic information.