This is a presentation from the Canadian Bovine Genomics Workshop held in Calgary, Alberta on Sept.14, 2009. The workshop was the first step in developing a national bovine genomics strategy for Canada.
Text of CBGW Diane Panrucker Panel
1.ALMAAlberta Livestock & Meat Agency Ltd.Canadian Bovine
Genomics Workshop September 14, 2009 Calgary, Alberta
2. Questions to Panel 1 Participants Diane Panrucker 3.
Currently, purebred breeders use measurements of phenotype
traits to genetically select for:
Optimal production, convenience, and carcass traits
Selection based on phenotypehas resulted in the fine tuning
that individual breeds need in order to respond to the market
drivers within their particular environment.
The major downside of traditional selection is the length of
generation time required to establish proofs of change.
Marker assisted selection can be applied to economic,
production and convenience traits more directly, resulting in an
accelerated rate of genetic change.
Increase uniformity, predictability and accuracy of carcass
value inlive seedstock
Increase profitability through feed efficiency
Identification of convenience traits such as polled, colour and
Improved predictability with regard to animal health, (For
example, genetic defects, innate resistance to BVD, Johnes
Internationally recognized parentage
identification/verification including multi-sire groups
Can marker assisted selection be used to reinforce breed
distinctions or will there be a tendency to homogenize all breeds
based on current market drivers?
How important is variation to the overall survival and
productivity of the cattle industry?
Do we need to reaffirm the necessity for the propagation of
Widely different production environments will require the
ability to quickly adapt to change in market or environmental
Those that benefit the most economically are those that have
the most control of the end product.The more sectors within the
production chain, the less the economic rewards will flow to the
beginning of the chain.Risk, on the other hand, is spread more
evenly throughout the sectors.anonymous
Incentive for investing in technology, new or old, must show a
reasonable expectation of economic benefit to those paying the
Applied research, like industry, is driven by market
forces.Commercialization of technology as an end product must stand
up to supply and demand i.e. those that benefit must be willing to
Risk/Benefit must be shared by both research and
Major challenge facing CGA is the lack of access to carcass
data back to breeders.
Sustaining the Genetic Quality of Ruminants (SGQR) grant in
2005 provided opportunities:
DNA profiles on all active sires (AI and pasture) using the
marker panel offered at that time by Bovigen.
Subsidized ultrasound was done on the abovesires and all
calendar year bull prospects.
Correlation between ultrasound and SNPs were not always perfect
but results were nonetheless very interesting.
To continue this research usinggenomic technology, the CGA has
entered into an agreement with Dr. Moores group at the University
of Alberta to collect samples from active Gelbvieh sires, cows and
their progeny including the dead.
To date, we have an estimated 68% of the Gelbvieh herd
The U of A is providing parentage testing on all active cattle,
embryo calves and donors.
CGA has international EPDs and mandatory ROP since 1996
The ultimate goal is the addition of all SNP data to existing
carcass and ultrasound data to improve the accuracy of Carcass EPDs
or GDPs internationally.
The AGA has also invested in the testing a significant number
of sires using available SNPs .
Many individuals have independently provided SNP data on select
sires and dams
Canada has become well known for the quality of our cow herd.As
we are not now, nor do we expect to be, a low cost producer, it is
to our advantage to instead promote the quality, uniformity, and
health of our genetic base.
Our genetics, when coupled with favorable environment and
climate, high health standards, and a relatively stable economy
would help in branding superior Canadian beef.
Accelerated selection of superior traits
Increased predictability, uniformity and consistency