NEW YORK — Sept. 29, 2010 — GeneSTAR®, from Pfizer Animal Genetics, now comes with two additional offerings ─ a Palatability Index and black coat color. These are in addition to Molecular Value Predictions (MVPs®) for feed efficiency, marbling and tenderness.
“We are constantly striving to provide producers with innovative technologies and services that deliver functional value,” says Scott Bormann, North American business director, Pfizer Animal Genetics. “GeneSTAR now delivers more value by providing producers with additional information as part of the same test.”
The new GeneSTAR Palatability Index combines the traits of tenderness and marbling, and helps rank animals according to described genomic merit for qualities that impact tenderness, juiciness and flavor. Kent Andersen, Ph.D., associate director technical services, Pfizer Animal Genetics, says the result is a composite score that helps to more readily predict which animals will contribute genetics for the most favorable overall eating experience. The index was designed using data from more than 25,000 cattle representing more than 40 breeds and breed composites.
“Given that palatability thresholds exist for consumers, we also have defined three zones within the range of possible Palatability Index scores that producers can use to help simplify breeding and marketing decisions,” Dr. Andersen says. “For example, scores above 355 are defined as superior and indicate that these animals have the highest level of described genomic potential for combinations of tenderness and marbling. Or, scores below 100 fall into the marginal category. Therefore, we recommend that producers consider mating and management strategies for these animals that focus on improving palatability.”
In addition to the new Palatability Index, GeneSTAR now includes genotypes for black coat color as part of the standard reporting package. These results continue to indicate if an animal is homozygous or heterozygous for black color. Recent data suggest there continues to be a strong demand for black feeder cattle with buyers consistently paying average premiums of more than $5.50 per hundred weight for black-hided calves.1
“Identifying homozygous black herd sires or replacement females with GeneSTAR can pay significant dividends for years when it comes to sale day,” Bormann says.
Bormann adds that these two offerings are on top of the original MVPs provided by GeneSTAR.
“Don’t forget that producers can still receive trusted information for three important traits from GeneSTAR ─ feed efficiency, marbling and tenderness,” he says. “It’s the trusted name in DNA technology that now comes with even more value.”
For more information, producers should contact their Pfizer Animal Genetics representative, visit www.pfizeranimalgenetics.com or call 877-BEEF-DNA.