Merial announced that the breed-specific horned/polled analysis from Igenity is now available for Jersey cattle. The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) board of directors has approved the Igenity analysis as the only DNA product currently accepted for determination of Jersey cattle as heterozygous or homozygous for the polled genes.
"Until now, producers and breed associations have had to rely on visual observation of progeny to determine if animals are homozygous polled,” says Stewart Bauck, executive director, research and development, Igenity. "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 mothers and the commercial cattle population.”
Igenity currently provides horned/polled analysis for both male and female Jerseys and six beef breeds: Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Limousin, Simmental and Shorthorn. Homozygous polled Jerseys—as identified by the Igenity profile—will be designated with a "PP” suffix to their name in the AJCA's herdbook. The first animals to receive this designation are two bulls, Fairway Mygent Dallas-PP and SR Mygent Arrowhead-PP-ET. Heterozygous cattle will continue to be designated with a "P” suffix.
"The AJCA is excited to work with Igenity on this horned/polled analysis,” says Erick Metzger, herd services manager, AJCA. "Producers that want to take advantage of the horned/polled analysis will order kits directly from Igenity and authorize Igenity to send the results to the AJCA for inclusion in the herdbook.”
The proprietary DNA markers in the horned/polled analysis from Igenity were developed in partnership with the Texas Agriculture Experiment Association and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and supported in part with funding from America's Beef Producers. Clare Gill, assistant professor, Texas A&M University, collected extensive data on Jersey cattle to identify the markers that are predictive of the expression of horns. Markers for other dairy breeds are currently being validated and will soon be available from Igenity.
"The addition of this analysis gives producers more tools than ever before to help them make better-informed and confident breeding, management and marketing decisions,” says Bauck. "The option to select and breed for polled cattle is just one more example of how Igenity is helping producers know more about the genetics of their herd.”
Currently, Igenity is the only DNA technology provider commercially offering a horned/polled analysis to the dairy industry. 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 help make better-informed selection and management decisions. The comprehensive Igenity profile includes multiple-marker DNA analyses for USDA PTA traits of economic importance, such as productive life, somatic cell score, fertility, dairy form, milk volume and fat and protein production. Also available—from the same DNA sample—are analyses for coat color, genetic recessives, cheese production, parentage validation and discovery, and a diagnostic test for persistent infections of the bovine viral diarrhea virus. All analyses are available for both male and female animals. For more information or to order a tissue collection kit, call 1-877-IGENITY or visit www.igenity.com.