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Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2009
Angus Productions Inc.

Comprehensive Igenity Profile Expands

Profile boasts the most third-party-validated analyses available.


PHOENIX, Ariz. (Jan. 28, 2009) — Merial announced several enhancements to its Igenity profile during the 2009 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show. The comprehensive Igenity® profile has expanded to include multiple-marker analyses for average daily gain (ADG) and myostatin. In addition, the horned/polled analysis is now available for more breeds. And the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) has validated three more analyses in the Igenity profile, for a total of nine validated traits, the most of any genetic profile available.1


“We are constantly working to improve and expand the Igenity profile, conduct more extensive third-party validation, and provide cattle producers with solutions to their production needs,” says Dr. Stewart Bauck, director, research and development, Igenity.

ADG analysis added, third-party validated
The multiple-marker analysis for ADG passed the rigorous validation process set by the NBCEC and is proven to predict this economically important trait. The difference in an animal with a score of 1 and an animal with a score of 10 from the Igenity profile accounts for 0.81 pound of gain per day.2

“Approximately 93 percent of the variability in cost of gain can be explained by corn price, feed conversion and average daily gain,”3 Dr. Bauck says. “Beef producers can’t affect corn prices, but they can better manage the other two important factors that affect cost of gain — and ultimately profitability — with the analyses from Igenity for ADG, residual feed intake and dry matter intake.”*

Myostatin analysis introduced
In addition to the analysis for ADG, the IGENITY profile has expanded to include an option to evaluate cattle for nine different variations related to the myostatin gene.

Bauck says myostatin prevents excessive muscular development, which means that changes, or variations, in the gene lead to a reduction or loss of this function. Forms of these genetic variations have a large effect on muscle mass and have been associated with the phenotype described as double muscling.

“Myostatin has been associated with both negative and positive traits such as heavier birth weights, heavier weaning weights and higher yield of lean,”4 Bauck says. “Whether producers consider this trait desirable or not, this analysis is a powerful tool for those looking to determine the presence of several myostatin variations.”

Horned/polled analysis expanded
Along with the addition of ADG and myostatin, the breed-specific horned/polled analysis from Igenity is now available for Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Limousin, Simmental and Shorthorn breeds, as well as any of these breeds crossed with Angus. This technology was developed in partnership with the Texas Agriculture Experiment Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, supported in part with funding from America’s Beef Producers. Development of this analysis involved up to 200 bulls per breed, which allowed evaluation of records on more than 50,000 progeny.

“The advantages of having homozygous polled cattle have been well documented in seedstock and feeder cattle,” Bauck says. “In an evaluation of 2,400 registered Limousin bulls, those that were proven to be homozygous polled with DNA analysis brought approximately $1,700 more than those that are horned.5 And, horned feeder calves can sell for $1.50 to $2.00 less per hundredweight than those without horns.”6

NBCEC validates additional traits
In addition to ADG, existing analyses for yield grade and ribeye area were validated by the NBCEC. Now, all nine of the carcass- and feed-efficiency related traits* in the Igenity profile have passed the rigorous, multiple-step NBCEC validation process.

“The IGENITY profile is comprised of the most third-party-validated analyses as well as the only third-party-validated analyses for traits related to feed efficiency,”* Bauck says. “These traits have been proven to be powerful predictors for the respective traits, giving producers even more confidence that the comprehensive Igenity profile can help them make better selection, management and marketing decisions.”

Igenity offers analyses for:

In addition, producers can choose to use a combination radio frequency identification (RFID) tag and tissue collection device, making DNA collection and electronic identification possible in one simple step. 

For more information, contact your Igenity sales representative, call 1-877-IGENITY or visit www.igenity.com/beef.

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,400 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2008 sales were more than $2.6 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com.

Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from a news release provided by Merial. For more information regarding the release, contact Natasha Joseph, Merial, at 678-638-3690 or Wendy Mayo, Bader Rutter & Associates, at 402-434-5307.

*The analyses for residual feed intake and dry matter intake are currently validated and commercially available for Bos indicus-influenced cattle. Research is under way in Bos taurus cattle and will be available soon. Please check www.igenity.com/beef for updated information about the availability of these analyses for Bos taurus cattle.

1National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium Web site. Available at: http://www.nbcec.org/nbcec/index.html. Accessed October 28, 2008.
2Data on file at Merial.
3Albright ML, et al. Factors affecting cattle feeding profitability and cost of gain. Beef Cattle Handbook BCH-8050.
4Casas E, Bennett GL, et al. Association of myostatin on early calf mortality, growth, and carcass composition traits in crossbred cattle. Journ An Sci 2004;82:2913-2918.
5Bottom Line, summer 2006. Many factors affect prices of Limousin bulls. North American Limousin Foundation.
6Hopkins FM, Neel JB, Kirkpatrick FD. Dehorning calves. University of Tennessee Extension Bulletin No. 1684.
®IGENITY is a registered trademark of Merial.
©2009 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. RUMIEGN921 (01/09)