Genomic testing

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Source: Canadian Angus Association

Genomic testing has been evolving quickly over the past two decades. It has become increasingly less expensive and more informative to genotype animals.

Genomic, test results are used to enhance predictability of current selection tools, to achieve more accuracy on EPDs for younger animals, and to characterize genetics for traits that are difficult or expensive to measure, such as feed efficiency, carcass traits in breeding stock or maternal traits in bulls. With the investment in genomic technology, animals who were previously placed into single animal contemporary groups now benefit by receivingGEPDs, rather than interim EPDs .

Genomic testing is one more tool for breeders to use to more accurately predict the future performance of animals as parents in the population, but this is not a replacement to performance data recording. Breeders sometimes ask if it is no longer necessary to collect weights and measures (e.g. weaning weights, ultrasound scan data, or carcass data, and heifer breeding records). On the contrary, phenotypic measures continue to be an important part in further development of improved genomic panels and the refinement of this technology over time. Genomically enhanced EPDs (GEPDs) are important because they utilize genomic test results in addition to pedigree, performance and progeny data for increased reliability of an animal’s EPD.

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