MADISON, N.J. — March 17, 2011 — Pfizer Animal Genetics and the Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) are proud to announce an agreement giving Beefmaster breeders new options in DNA testing and parentage verification.
“Our partnership with Pfizer Animal Genetics will allow us to merge our phenotypic data collection, which has been in place for more than 50 years, with DNA information,” says Dr. Tommy Perkins, executive vice president, Beefmaster Breeders United. “This will move the association in the direction of adopting genomically enhanced EPDs at a much faster rate than in the past. It is going to ask some of our breeders to do some things they may not have done before, but it will help position Beefmaster as a leader in the industry.”
Scott Bormann, North American business director, Pfizer Animal Genetics, says breeders can choose from multiple Pfizer Animal Genetics products and services.
“Beefmaster breeders will now be able to verify parentage with and gain valuable information from GeneSTAR® all from the same DNA sample, and results will be sent to the BBU and then distributed to the breeders,” Bormann says. “Not only can these results help breeders make more informed decisions about young animals, but also will complement existing tools, helping make decisions when other selection criteria are similar or when little information is available.”
GeneSTAR Molecular Value Predictions (MVP®s) utilize a targeted-marker panel to predict genetic potential for feed efficiency, marbling and tenderness. Plus, these MVPs are accompanied by percentile ranks derived from the database of animals tested with GeneSTAR and Pfizer Animal Genetics. Lower percentile rank values generally indicate preferred ranking and more favorable genetic merit.
Breeders also can use the new GeneSTAR Palatability Index to rank animals according to described genomic merit for the combined traits of tenderness and marbling that impact tenderness, juiciness and flavor. Finally, GeneSTAR includes genotypes for black, red and wild-type coat color, allowing producers to select either homozygous or heterozygous animals regardless of the desired coat color.
In addition to parentage verification and the GeneSTAR offering, Dr. Perkins says he’s looking forward to Pfizer Animal Genetics and BBU working together to identify additional genomic applications that will further position Beefmaster cattle as the best in the beef industry.
“DNA technology is moving much faster than most think it is,” Dr. Perkins says. “With the help of the technical services available at Pfizer Animal Genetics, we will be able to provide numerous educational seminars for our breeders to utilize the technology and the results that it has to offer. The program is well thought out and will be very user friendly to Beefmaster producers.”
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.