Genetic Accounting

By Jackie Atkins, Ph.D., Director of Science and Education at the ASA On a daily basis, cattle operations face management decisions that can make the enterprise either more or less successful. It’s not always easy to know what the right decision is but with some thought and advice from trusted sources, usually the choice becomes…

Why would animals with good phenotypic measures have mediocre EPDs for the same trait?

keepThe “off-the-cuff” answer is when it comes to animal genetics, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Animals with tremendous individual phenotypes (e.g., heavy weaning weights, stellar reproductive records) can certainly have lackluster genetic value for those traits and vice versa. The reason for this is because an animal’s phenotype is the result…

Varying degrees of dominance

Frequently when we talk of dominant traits, we automatically think of completely dominant traits where an animal with two copies of the dominant allele is phenotypically the same as an animal with just one copy of the dominant allele. This is the case with black coat color or the polled trait in cattle. However, many…