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Confused about Genomics? Breed Research Executive Lucy Andrews begins a series of articles about this much-touted new breeding tool, aiming to de-mystify the subject and explain how it will suit our programmes here in the UK


Evaluation


PA = Parent Average


PA + Genomics Progeny Test


Average % Reliability


35% 60-65% 70-99%


No. Daughters/ Herds


0 dts/0 hds 0 dts/0 hds


Start at approx 40 dts/25 hds upwards


• For more info on understand- ing ‘Reliability’, please see the fact sheet from Marco Winters of DairyCo published in this edi- tion of the Journal


So, is the UK on target for launching genomic evaluations in 2011?


It is expected that we will see a launch of UK genomic evaluations for British and international bulls during 2011. At a similar time, breeders can also expect to have a new and cost-effective service for genotyping their own cows, which could add useful information to their breeding decisions – for example in allowing them to keep the best from a choice of calves as future herd replacements and enhance the marketability of animals and embryos. Holstein UK has committed to providing the membership with an ‘interim alternative service’ for cows specifi cally, until we have actual UK genomic evaluations in place in 2011. This will involve working with Holstein USA to obtain USA ‘GTPI’ values for those farmers keen to move forward with genotyping their stock. A Q&A section regarding this service specifi cally is covered at the end of this article.


Current UK genomic development


The UK developments follow several years of investment and behind-the- scenes work by the UK industry. Work has been taking place at EGENES (Edinburgh Genetic Evaluation Services) and has been part-funded by DairyCo with the addition of other essential data and funding provided by key industry partners in a ‘consortium’ that includes Holstein UK, Genus ABS, Cogent


THE JOURNAL DECEMBER 2010 25 Explanation


This is a straight average of the genetic potential for both sire and dam. No daughters have been born, milked or classifi ed


The increase in reliability is said to be equivalent to approx: 10 daughters (on average over all traits), however - No daughters have been milked or classifi ed


At this stage the impact of the PA and genomic evaluation diminishes and is replaced by information taken from real cows milked by real farmers


Breeding, the Cattle Information Service and National Milk Records. The UK has been working hard to co-operate and develop a genomic evaluation together, as it is clear that no one organisation in the UK can provide all the pieces to this extensive puzzle. Marco Winters, Head of Genetics for DairyCo Breeding+, recently outlined his thoughts on UK genomic development in an article published in British Dairying, in which he said, “Hard decisions about funding have had to be taken along the way by both the UK and international dairy industries. North American governments and AI


Genomic Evaluations are not the equivalent of a bull’s proof Genomic information added to a Parent Average gives a genomic evaluation equivalent to approximately 10 daughters (average over all traits).


In most countries, genomic information is combined with tradi- tional proofs to give a ‘blended’ proof of genomic Information, pedigree Information and daughter information. As the animal gains more real progeny, the weighting of parent average (pedigree information) and genomics diminishes.


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