DNA with Megan

The world of DNA is fast paced with technology improving and changing all the time.
Most breeders will now be aware that some breeds are conducting single-step group runs - this is the combination of SNP testing and data, such as pedigree and performance recording to provide more accurate EBVs.

Currently Hereford and Angus are doing single-step group runs.

The single-step evaluation is a new era in genetic evaluation available to the beef sector. This new genetic analysis combines pedigree, performance and genomic (DNA) information together in a complete multi-trait Breedplan analysis of birth, growth, fertility, carcase and feed intake traits. In a single-step evaluation, genomic information now contributes to the Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and accuracy calculations of genotyped animals and their relatives meaning the EBVs calculated in a single-step evaluation are a step ahead of those generated in a “standard” group run.

PBBs bovine DNA expert Megan Ellett says while there is a lot of technology and terminology to keep track of, DNA is not as daunting as it seems at first glance.

“Breeders just need to take the first step - get in touch with us and we can help with as much or as little as breeders might like or need.”

She said the world of cattle DNA is moving away from micro satellite technology to SNP testing - single nucleotide polymorphisms.


DNA Glossary

SNP is the type of testing technology. It is the most up to date type of testing. SNP stands for single nucleotide polymorphisms. 

Microsatellite is also testing technology - except it’s older and being phased out.

TSU is a sample type - in this case it refers to a tissue sampling unit. A tissue sample is generally collected from the middle of the ear. Hair and in some cases, semen can also be used for SNP DNA testing.

Single-step evaluation refers to a genetic evaluation method that combines pedigree, performance and genomic (DNA) information.

100K, 50K etc refer to the number of DNA markers used to gain the DNA test result, or the level of SNP testing).