DULUTH, Ga. — November 14, 2008 — The North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) entered into a distribution agreement with Merial that provides a more convenient option for utilizing the power of the comprehensive IGENITY® profile. The agreement gives Limousin breeders a unique opportunity to put the power of DNA to work in their herds. It also brings beef producers to a significant milestone in the application of the IGENITY profile and the development of marker-assisted expected progeny differences (EPDs).
“The distribution agreement between IGENITY and NALF represents a critical building block in the infrastructure needed for strategic adoption and comprehensive inclusion of genomic information in NALF’s performance program and, ultimately, in genetic evaluation,” says Dr. Kent Andersen, executive vice president, NALF.
This agreement gives Limousin breeders an option to work directly with NALF to order sample collection kits. This agreement also provides Limousin breeders an option for sharing DNA profiles with NALF, which ultimately will be used in the development of marker-assisted EPDs.
Dr. Andersen says this partnership will benefit all users of Limousin genetics.
“NALF salutes the progressive and innovative spirit of collaboration IGENITY has had in bringing this agreement to fruition for the benefit of our members and commercial users of Limousin genetics,” Dr. Andersen says.
Dr. Lauren Hyde, director of performance programs, NALF, says this opportunity helps Limousin breeders use the power of DNA to increase the accuracy of EPDs for traits already incorporated into genetic evaluation and to expand to other traits that currently can be measured only with the IGENITY profile.
“Relative to traits for which EPDs are already available, eventual incorporation of information from the IGENITY profile in genetic evaluation promises to increase the accuracy of prediction and reliability of selection,” Dr. Hyde says. “For traits not presently evaluated by EPDs, the information from the IGENITY profile empowers selection for additional economically relevant traits that are commonly expensive or difficult to measure.”
The comprehensive IGENITY profile includes multiple-marker analyses for:
Hot carcass weight
Heifer pregnancy rate
IGENITY also offers an optional diagnostic test for persistent infections (PI) of the bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus. 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.
“The range of traits analyzed in the IGENITY profile, as well as the internal and external validation process for each analysis, is unparalleled by any other DNA provider in the beef industry,”1 says Dr. Jim Gibb, technical services director, IGENITY. “The IGENITY profile is the only DNA profile available with analyses for maternal and reproductive traits as well as carcass composition, tenderness and docility. In addition, the IGENITY profile includes the longest list of traits validated by the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC).”2
Dr. Gibb adds that IGENITY is committed to providing the most useful, thoroughly researched technology and the most innovative approach to its application in the beef industry. He adds that the approach IGENITY and NALF are taking to the development of marker-assisted EPDs is consistent with the recommendations made for the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) guidelines by the Commission on DNA Markers.3
“All beef producers can use the comprehensive IGENITY profile to help make more confident selection, management and marketing decisions,” Dr. Gibb says. “This agreement with NALF is a critical step in the development of marker-assisted EPDs, which takes the application of this technology to a new level of usefulness for beef producers.”
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 more than 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2007 sales were nearly $2.5 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com.