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Beef Genomic Prediction Trial

About the project:

Built on a previous pilot project, the objective of the project is to further promote adoption of genomic prediction tools in beef cattle in order to improve beef production efficiency and quality through genomic selection in Canada.

This project is funded by Genome Alberta and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry with participation of researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AAF), Livestock Gentec, and the University of Alberta (UA).

The beef genomic prediction trial aims to predict the genetic merit of selection candidates based on 50,000-100,000 DNA markers or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using a reference population of approximately 11,000 Canadian beef cattle.

The reference population data was collected under multiple projects funded by Alberta Funding Consortium, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Innovates Biosolutions, Western Economic Development, Genome Canada, and Genome Alberta, and supported through in-kind and cash contributions from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beef Cattle Research Council, University of Alberta, Beefbooster Inc., Deseret Ranches of Alberta, Three Cross Ranches, Namaka Farms, Growsafe Systems Inc., University of Guelph, Canadian Angus Association, Canadian Charolais Association, and Canadian Hereford Association.

Currently, the project can predict the genetic merit or genomic expected progeny difference (gEPD) for the following traits:

       Feed efficiency: Dry matter intake, residual feed intake (RFI);

       Growth: Average daily gain;

       Carcass traits: Carcass weight, lean meat yield, rib-eye area, back fat thickness and marbling;

The beef genomic prediction trial project will also predict in crossbred cattle:

       Genomic breed composition (gBC)

       Genomic retained heterozygosity (gRH)


In addition, the project aims to calculate multiple trait selection indexes:

       Heifer profitability index

       Feedlot profitability index

The beef genomic prediction trial will cover a larger proportion of the SNP genotyping costs for 600 selected beef cattle and provide free genomic prediction. Participants of 600 selected beef cattle are expected to pay a smaller proportion of the SNP genotyping cost and will receive SNP genotype data along with genomic prediction results (gEPD) for the above feed efficiency, growth and carcass merit traits, and gBC, gRH, and selection indexes as desired.

If you are interested in predicting gEPD, gBC, or gRH of your cattle via this trial project, please create an account, login in and submit your animal information. Once selected, you will be contacted via email on how to mail your animals' materials for DNA marker genotyping and an estimate of your shared costs.

For general enquiry or information, please click "Contact us".


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