Genomics: What Tests Should I Order?

One beauty of genomic testing is that you only have to do a tissue sample (TSU)  once. Tests can then be done immediately, and other tests can be sought at a later date. That said, reducing the administrative overhead by ordering all required tests at once might be attractive.

This means there is no urgency in deciding what tests to get done, although the ARPCBI is asking all new registrations to be tested for myostatin genes (double muscling) within 6 months of submitting the registration request.

There are many tests available, some are not relevant to red polls (horn/polled or coat colour for example). Some are relevant to all (myostatin) and some relevant to specific regions or activities (pestivirus testing for example) or bloodline (perhaps for specific genetic defects).

Effective testing for Red Polls starts with myostatin and parentage verification. Parentage can be a separate test called Seeksire, or it can be included in the  GGP Bovine 100K test IF parents have been tested with GGP Bovine 100K or Seeksire. In either case one or both parent details (usually the sire) must be included on the request form in the parental columns for the analysis after calves are tested. This often means including a TSU from the sire.

The GGP Bovine 100K test provides a vast selection of tests, but given the size of the raw results file they require some analytical and genetic skills to interpret. Neogen will however do the parentage verification for you. For an idea of the large array of traits available from genome testing see here

In addition, genomics can provide valuable performance related data. However the data set for Red Polls is too small at present to get this service. The ARPCBI would like to see Red Polls included in Neogen’s iGenity Beef program eventually. This will require a large number of animals be tested and have phenotype records but this can be worldwide.