Horned/Polled Analysis Now Available for Holstein Breed

October 5, 2009 07:00 PM

DULUTH, Ga.A breed-specific horned/polled analysis from Igenity is now available for Holstein cattle. As a pioneer in dairy DNA technology, Igenity is the only provider commercially offering validated horned/polled analyses to the dairy industry.
Stewart Bauck, executive director of research and development at Igenity, explains that breed-specific analyses are key when using genomics to determine horned status. "One size doesn't fit all when it comes to certain DNA tests,” Bauck says. "Igenity has developed a horned/polled analysis specifically for the Holstein breed because the markers that identify an animal's horned status vary by breed.”
Currently, Igenity provides a horned/polled analysis for Holsteins, Jerseys and six beef breeds: Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Limousin, Simmental and Shorthorn. Bauck adds that genomic breakthroughs like these add major efficiencies in an ever-changing industry.
"Until now, producers and breed associations had to rely on progeny tests and visual observation to determine if animals are homozygous polled,” Bauck says. "Now—using the power of genomics—we can know the horned status of cattle definitively and quickly. This can have significant implications for AI sires, bull dams and the commercial cattle population.”
The proprietary DNA markers in the horned/polled analysis from Igenity were developed in partnership with the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and supported in part with funding from America's Beef Producers. Extensive data on Holstein cattle was collected to identify and validate the markers that are predictive of the expression of horns.
"The field of genomics is rapidly changing, and Igenity continues to make advancements to ensure producers have access to the most powerful information available,” Bauck says. "The option to select and breed for polled cattle is just one more example of how Igenity is helping producers make valuable and informed decisions about their herd.”
The horned/polled analysis is available along with the comprehensive Igenity profile, which includes genomic analyses for more than a dozen economically important traits dairy producers can use to make better-informed selection and management decisions. The comprehensive Igenity profile includes multiple-marker DNA analyses for the following USDA PTA traits of economic importance: fertility; longevity (dairy form, productive life); somatic cell score; production (milk volume, components [fat, fat %, protein, protein %]); coat color; genetic recessives (CVM, BLAD, D UMPS); cheese production proteins (Kappa casein, Beta casein, Beta lactoglobulin); breed-specific horned/polled; diagnostic test for BVD-PI; parentage validation and discovery.
For more information or to order a tissue collection kit, call 1-877-443-6489 or visit www.igenity.com. Igenity is a division of Merial.

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