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…

Even though the ASA encourages its members to DNA test their animals, members should continue to collect performance data.

No matter how good the genomic tests are, members should still collect phenotypic measurements (e.g., birth weights, weaning weights, docility scores) on their cattle. Collecting performance data will help scientists develop better DNA tests and improve MBV prediction equations. In addition, high levels of EPD accuracy can be achieved only through the collection of large…