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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT FACILITATING BOVINE GENOME SEQUENCE USE TO IMPROVE CATTLE PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY, PRODUCT QUALITY & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Location: Genetics, Breeding, & Animal Health

Title: Genomics and the global beef cattle industry

Authors
item Pollak, Emil
item Bennett, Gary
item Snelling, Warren
item Thallman, Richard
item Kuehn, Larry

Submitted to: Animal Production Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 2012
Publication Date: February 20, 2012
Citation: Pollak, E.J., Bennett, G.L., Snelling, W.M., Thallman, R.M., Kuehn, L.A. 2012. Genomics and the global beef cattle industry. Animal Production Science. 52:92-99.

Interpretive Summary: After two decades of developing DNA-based tools for selection application of genomic technology has essentially eliminated the potentially large negative impact of spontaneous single mutation genetic defects as development of diagnostic tests for simply inherited traits is now readily accomplished. There is also the ability to perform more accurate selection based on Molecular Breeding Values for animals closely related to the discovery population. Yet the amount of genetic variation explained by DNA tests for complex traits falls short of expectations held for the technology. Tests are less effective in distant relatives within a breed and are not robust enough for across breed use. It is hypothesized that “larger SNP panels” will help extend the effective use of tests to more distantly related animals and across breeds. Sequencing and imputing sequences across individuals will enable us to find the discovery of causative mutations or SNP in perfect harmony with the mutation. However, the investment to revisit discovery populations will be large. We can ill afford to duplicate genotyping or sequencing activities for prominent individuals. Hence, a global strategy for genotyping and sequencing becomes an attractive proposition as many of our livestock populations are related. One area of fruitful collaboration is in the area of validation of DNA tests. International communities have invested in phenotypes and genotypic information that can be shared to validate discoveries in each population. Leveraging these resource will expedite the transfer of DNA technology as a selection tool to livestock industries.

Technical Abstract: After two decades of developing DNA-based tools for selection, we are at an interesting juncture. Genomic technology has essentially eliminated the potentially large negative impact of spontaneous single mutation genetic defects as the management of recent examples of beef defects has demonstrated. We have the ability to perform more accurate selection based on Molecular Breeding Values for animals closely related to the discovery population. Yet the amount of genetic variation explained falls short of expectations held for the technology. Tests are less effective in distant relatives within a breed and are not robust enough for across breed use. It is hypothesized that “larger SNP panels” will help extend the effective use of tests to more distantly related animals and across breeds. Sequencing and imputing sequences across individuals will enable us to find the discovery of causative mutations or SNP in perfect harmony with the mutation. However, the investment to revisit discovery populations will be large. We can ill afford to duplicate genotyping or sequencing activities for prominent individuals. Hence, a global strategy for genotyping and sequencing becomes an attractive proposition as many of our livestock populations are related. As we learned more of the complexities of the genome, the number of animals in discovery populations necessary to achieve high levels of predictability has grown dramatically. No one organization has the resources to assemble the animals needed, especially for novel, expensive or hard to measure phenotypes. This scenario is fertile ground for increased international collaboration in all livestock species.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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