NCBA: DNA Test for Commercial Angus

US - Gene-Max, a new DNA test for commercial Angus producers has been launched by Certified Angus Beef (CAB), Angus Genetics Inc (AGI) and Pfizer Animal Health.
calendar icon 2 February 2012
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Pfizer Animal Health

Gene-Max is designed to evaluate high-percentage (>75 per cent) Angus females and feeder cattle on two traits most specific to hitting the CAB brand - marbling and post-weaning gain.

In the decade since the bovine genome was mapped, the search for practical applications has been one of the boom industries in bioscience. The most recent result can help profitably increase the supply of cattle qualifying for the CAB brand.

"Gene-Max opens another tray in the genetic toolbox that commercial Angus cattlemen have never known," said Mark McCully, CAB assistant vice president for production. "But rather than replacing other options, it makes them more effective."

The new DNA test for marbling and gain would be hard to use without such tools as individual cow-calf records. It would be hard to apply without uing expected progeny differences (EPDs) and the dollar value ($V) index in bull selection. And it would be pointless without a focus on fertility and maternal traits.

"No DNA test for economically important traits in cattle costs less, at $17, but multiplied across a herd or calf crop, it still represents a significant investment," Mr McCully notes.

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