Alta Genetics announced two of its prominent beef sires possess two copies of the recently discovered GeneSTAR marbling gene marker.

Angus sire and Red Angus sire are homozygous (two copies of the favorable allele) for this marbling gene marker.

The GeneSTAR marbling gene marker was discovered by Australian research organization, CSIRO and Meat and Livestock Australia. The test is the first gene marker for a production trait in beef cattle. GeneSTAR Marbling is a DNA diagnostic test for a major gene associated with marbling. The test enables cattle breeders to select individuals that carry one or two copies of the favorable allele. The test has been exclusively licensed to Genetic Solutions. Genetic Solutions was recently acquired by GenomicFX, an Austin, Texas-based livestock genomics company.

“Alta Genetics has been fortunate to find that two of our most popular sires, Alberda Traveler and Make My Day, possess two copies of the high marbling gene allele,” says Willie Altenburg, Alta Genetics Beef Program Manager. “GeneSTAR marbling is one of the leading-edge DNA markers available in the world, and Alta Genetics is pleased to be one of the first to utilize this technology by testing several of our AI sires with such positive results.”

Interpreting the results is straightforward; the animal has either two copies of the gene (homozygote), one copy (heterozygote) or zero copies. Australian research on a large number of Angus cattle showed that 30 percent of the animals tested carried one copy of the gene but only 4 percent carried two favorable copies.

While a number of genes affect marbling, the GeneSTAR test is the only commercially available marker that can explain enough variation to potentially be useful. One study found that animals with two favorable copies of the gene showed 11 percent higher marbling than the average of the population.

Alta Genetics Inc. is engaged in the production, research, and marketing of AI products and services. Research is focused on the application of technology and good cattle breeding knowledge to help Alta’s customers around the world, to achieve their breeding goals.

Alta Genetics Inc.