Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Current economic conditions require livestock producers to optimize every aspect of their operation. They need to identify their customer and develop a product that they can produce efficiently and sell at a profit. This depends on management practices, environment & genetics of the animal. The genetics of the animal must be matched with the type of operation. Commercial cow-calf producers select replacements based on growth rate and carcass quality, while seedstock producers place more emphasis on birth weight and maternal traits. Current selection practices are based upon the performance or phenotype of an animal or of its progeny (expected progeny differences, EPDs). The phenotype of an animal is dependant upon its genetics and the environment. In an effort to identify the genetic component of the phenotype, EPDs are used. EPDs compare the performance of one parent's progeny and relatives to the progeny and relatives of another parent within the same environment. This comparison estimates the genetic difference of the two parents. EPDs can only be estimated from comprehensive records maintained on animals for several generations. Genome mapping will provide another selection tool called Marker Assisted Selection (MAS), which may be especially useful for traits that have not been measured and recorded in the past (e.g., meat tenderness, disease resistance). Genome mapping allows a more detailed picture of the genetic component within an animal.