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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Genetics and Animal Breeding » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #239546

Title: Validation and Estimation of Additive Genetic Variation Associated with DNA Tests for Quantitative Beef Cattle Traits

item VAN EENENNAAM, ALISON - University Of California
item Thallman, Richard - Mark
item QUAAS, RICHARD - Cornell University
item HANFORD, KATHY - University Of Nebraska
item POLLAK, E. - Cornell University

Submitted to: Advancement of Animal Breeding & Genetics Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2009
Publication Date: 9/28/2009
Citation: Van Eenennaam, A.L., Thallman, R.M., Quaas, R.L., Hanford, K., Pollak, E.J. 2009. Validation and Estimation of Additive Genetic Variation Associated with DNA Tests for Quantitative Beef Cattle Traits. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics 18:129-132.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The U.S. National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) has been involved in the validation of commercial DNA tests for quantitative beef quality traits since their first appearance on the U.S. market in the early 2000s. The NBCEC Advisory Council initially requested that the NBCEC set up a system for validation of commercially available tests as a service to the industry, and as a mechanism for determining which tests to include in national cattle evaluation. Validation has been defined as finding a significant association between genetic tests and traits as claimed by the commercial genotyping company based on phenotypes and genotypes derived from reference cattle populations. The outcome and results of validations performed over the past 5 years have been continually posted on the public NBCEC website ( The validation process and analyses have evolved as the DNA testing industry has matured from single gene tests to panels involving an ever-increasing number of markers. With products derived from high density SNP assays on the horizon, it seems an opportune time to move the validation process from simply confirming an association between DNA test results and the trait of interest, to a determination of the proportion of variation accounted for by a DNA test. Reporting the percentage of genetic variation accounted for by DNA test is an important step in moving the focus of validation from whether a test "works" towards the increasingly relevant process of estimating the (co)variance parameters required to incorporate DNA testing into the national cattle evaluation system. This will likely be requisite for the widespread adoption of this technology in the beef industry.