Livestock Gentec's Genomic Tools
Gentec brings together a collaborative network of industry and academic partners to develop, validate and demonstrate innovative genomic tools to improve the efficiency, sustainability and profitability of the beef and swine industries. Gentec also works with industry partners to drive industry adoption of commercial tools.
Gentec's Proprietary Dataset
Through collaborative research at AAFC and the University of Alberta, Gentec has developed a genomic dataset for hard to measure traits unique to commercial cattle in Western Canada.
- 27,000 genomic records
- 12,000 records for DMI, ADG and feed efficiency
- >8,200 records for carcass traits
- 10,000 records for female fertility
- 30,000 spot measurements for enteric methane and CO2 emissions
- >4,700 genotypes on 14 breeds for prediction of genomic breed composition and hybrid vigour
Molecular Breeding Values (MBV)
Gentec’s extensive proprietary dataset has increased the prediction accuracy of hard to measure traits and led to the development of DNA based MBVs. Currently, only 38% of young beef bulls have EPDs for these traits, most with low or missing accuracy. A DNA sample on a bull will now generate a complete DNA profile for these MBVs.
- MBV Accuracy >35%
- Average daily gain
- Feed intake
- Residual feed intake (feed efficiency)
- 9 carcass traits
In 2017, Livestock Gentec released the first “made-in-Canada” genomic tool for Canadian crossbred cattle producers, EnVigour HX™, which provides parentage, breed composition, and a score for hybrid vigour. Increasing hybrid vigour in the herd can improve fertility, feed efficiency, calf health and longevity, resulting in increased lifetime productivity of $161 per cow over 5 calvings. EnVigour HX™ was licensed to Neogen Canada and has been integrated into the Igenity® Beef suite of products. Download factsheet here.
Multi-Trait Selection Indexes
With more accurate MBVs for hard to measure traits, Gentec has been able to develop multi-trait selection indexes for economically important traits.
Feeder Profit Index: select feeder sires to improve growth, feed efficiency, carcass merit and profitability of feeder cattle. Validated in 14 commercial herds and ready for deployment though industry. Download factsheet here.
Replacement Heifer Profit Index: select replacement heifers to improve hybrid vigour, fertility and lifetime productivity in your cow herd. Currently being validated in commercial herds. Download factsheet here.
Pooling DNA from a group of cattle (i.e. breeding groups) as opposed to genotyping each individual can measure breed composition and hybrid vigour while reducing costs. This technique aims to improve the adoption rate of genomic tools in the beef industry by providing valuable information on groups of cattle for a fraction of the cost. Download the project proposal summary here.
Swine Industry Consultation
Livestock Gentec's swine research program focuses on commercial gilt development and disease resilience. Through its collaborative projects, Gentec has developed a dataset for commercial gilts and is currently working directly with producers and producer groups to improve gilt performances, including litter size and retention.