Manawatu Standard: Scientists working on animal genetics

Jill Galloway writes in the Waikato Times about scientists’ efforts to better understand beef and sheep genetics in a bid to improve Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) information.

EBVs are widely used, but accurate genetic tests could potentially save farmers years and improve their stock.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Professor Goddard said EBVs work, but there are unknown factors.

“”We know how EBVs work. But the genes that contribute to them – we don’t know.”

“He said there were many genes that contribute to factors such as growth rate, meat yield, and fertility, for example, but only one for colour.

“That makes finding and marking such genes tricky, as it means all the effects are pretty small, he said.

“As if that is not enough of a problem, when it comes to beef breeds, markers need to be relevant across many breeds.”