Profit Tips: Genetic Selection – Watch for genetic defects

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A genetic defect — developmental duplication — was recently discovered in Angus cattle, according to University of Nebraska Extension. This genetic defect is recessive in nature, and current results from screening of close to 1,100 bulls have shown a moderate (3 percent) frequency of the recessive allele. It is important to be aware of current genetic defects and commercially available tests for them to enable informed selection and mating decisions. These types of discoveries will likely become more frequent across numerous breeds as more information from large-scale sequencing efforts becomes available.

For commercial cattle producers, the use of a well-designed crossbreeding system helps to mitigate the risk of genetic defects. For seedstock producers, as the list of known genetic defects becomes larger, more sophisticated methods of mate selection will need to be employed to reduce the probability of genetic defects while improving overall genetic merit.

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