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Johnston D, Tier B, Graser H. Beef cattle genetic evaluation in the genomics era. 2011.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/9873
Beef cattle genetic evaluation in the genomics era
Genomic selection is rapidly changing dairy breeding but to date it has had little impact on beef cattle breeding. The challenge for beef is to increase the accuracy of genomic predictions, particularly for those traits that cannot be measured on young animals. Accuracies of genomic predictions in beef cattle are low, primarily due to the relatively low number of animals with genotypes and phenotypes that have been used in gene discovery. To improve this will require the collection of genotypes and phenotypes on many more animals. Several key industry initiatives have commenced in Australia aimed at addressing this issue. Also, unlike dairy, the beef industry includes several major breeds and this will likely require the use of very dense SNP chips to enable accurate genomic prediction equations that are predictive across breeds. In Australia genotyping has been performed on all major breeds and research is underway to ascertain the effectiveness of a high density SNP chip (800K) to increase the accuracy of prediction. However, at this stage it is apparent, even in dairy breeding, that genomic information is best combined with traditional pedigree and performance data to generate genomically-enhanced EBVs, thus allowing greater rates of genetic gain through increased accuracies and reduced generation intervals. Several methods exist for combining the two sources of data into current genetic evaluation systems; however challenges exist for the beef industry to implement these effectively. Over time, as the accuracy of genomic selection improves for beef cattle breeding, changes are likely to be needed to the structure of the breeding sector to allow effective use of genomic information for the benefit of the industry.