KALAMAZOO, Mich. (January 14, 2010)—A significant milestone in the history of beef genetics occurred today when Pfizer Animal Genetics announced the completion of HD 50K, the beef industry’s first commercially available predictions based on a High-Density panel of more than 50,000 markers. This breakthrough represents significantly greater selection opportunities for owners of black Angus cattle.
“Pfizer Animal Genetics is very proud to bring a High-Density panel to the beef industry,” says Dr. Nigel Evans, vice president of Animal Genetics for Pfizer Animal Health. “This is a major event for the industry and our company, and cattlemen now have access to unprecedented genomic selection information that can supplement EPDs to accelerate genetic progress in their herds.”
HD 50K reports 14 genomic trait predictions as Molecular Value Predictions (MVPs™) and carries a higher level of reliability, demonstrating a tighter correlation between the MVP and the animal’s performance. A portion of the traits described by the MVPs—average daily gain, dry matter intake, net feed intake and tenderness—are not currently expressed as Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) and provide producers with an excellent opportunity to select cattle according to traits of economic importance that can be difficult or costly to measure. Other traits associated with calving ease, growth, and maternal and carcass merit can be used in concert with existing EPDs. Also included is the beef industry’s first DNA-based economic index, $MVPFL, which provides a predicted value in relation to net return of feedlot progeny.
“The MVPs from HD 50K have a strong relationship with an animal’s performance,” says Ronnie Green, Ph.D., senior director, global technical services for Pfizer Animal Genetics. “This enables Angus producers to achieve a significant return on investment. Producers making breeding decisions utilizing the product along with EPDs can benefit from up to a three-to-one improvement in ROI versus using EPDs alone in producing genetics for commercial cattlemen.”
The most powerful use of the HD 50K is to establish a genetic profile for animals early in life. DNA samples can be analyzed from young calves, long before progeny data is available and with greater accuracy than parent average information. The resulting data provide a reliable prediction of future performance, and allow producers to make earlier, better and more profitable genetic decisions.
About Pfizer Animal Genetics
Pfizer Animal Genetics is a business unit of Pfizer Animal Health, a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines. Pfizer Inc. is the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. For more information on Pfizer Animal Genetics visit www.pfizeranimalgenetics.com.
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