Genomic-enhanced EPDs

Nov 25, 2011
by WLJ

Angus Genetics, Inc. (AGI), a subsidiary of the American Angus Association (AAA), and Pfizer Animal Genetics announce two new advancements that allow Angus breeders to more efficiently improve herd genetics.

These include additional genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (EPDs) (GE-EPDs) and genomic percent ranks for docility, yearling height, scrotal circumference, mature height and mature weight that incorporate the genomic results provided by the High Density 50K (HD 50K) platform from Pfizer Animal Genetics. In addition, AGI is now accepting DNA samples for genetic defect testing conducted by Pfizer Animal Genetics.

Through AGI, AAA continues to expand its offering of GE-EPDs using its extensive performance database and genomic results from DNA samples submitted by cattlemen.

“This is an exciting development in our mission to provide Angus cattle producers with the most advanced, extensive genetic selection tools available in the beef industry,” said Bill Bowman, AGI president and AAA chief operating officer. “With these additional genomic-enhanced EPDs, we’re now able to offer genomic-enhanced measures on all production traits and further expand our maternal selection capabilities.”

Scott Bormann, business director, Pfizer Animal Genetics, says these additional traits support the versatility and flexibility that come with using a 54,000-marker platform.

“Angus breeders utilizing HD 50K technology continue to benefit from the expandability of a platform that includes 54,000 markers,” Bormann says. “This platform allows for the addition of new traits while still providing more cover age across the full range of existing traits as well as parentage verification—all from a single sample and for a single price.”

In addition to garnering information about four new traits, samples sent to AGI for GE-EPDs powered by HD 50K can now be used for genetic defect testing. Angus breeders can also conduct genetic defect testing for neuropathic hydrocephalus (NH), arthrogryposis multiplex (AM) or contractural arachnodactyly (CA) through Pfizer Animal Genetics as a stand-alone test.

Breeders who have previously received GE-EPDs powered by HD 50K will receive the new trait predictions on tested animals at no additional charge. These GE-EPDs were released Nov. 18. And, samples that are on file with AGI can be retrieved and used for defect testing as well.

“This agreement expands our relationship and services with Pfizer Animal Genetics to further provide seamless customer service to our members,” says Bowman. “This new development will add convenience to Angus breeders’ genetic testing programs for NH, AM and CA.”

Bormann says this is another example of the commitment from AGI to provide Angus breeders and buyers of Angus genetics the most advanced and convenient options in genetic evaluation.

“We at Pfizer Animal Genetics are proud to partner with AGI in continuing to provide industry-leading solutions and advancements in the area of genetic evaluation for the Angus breed and the U.S. beef industry,” Bormann says.

Visit or www.pfizeranimalgenetics. com for more information about the additional traits and genetic defect testing as it becomes available. — WLJ