Category Archives: Genetics

Maximise Genetic Improvement with MateSel

The move of Herefords Australia Ltd onto the new ILR2 software means that a new product is now available to all Hereford BREEDPLAN members. Known as MateSel, the new product will enable you to objectively optimise the mating allocations for your herd and take your breeding program to the next level.

When utilising MateSel, you provide a MateSel Operator at BREEDPLAN with details regarding your breeding objective and breeding program, plus details of the bulls and females that are available for inclusion in the upcoming matings. The MateSel software then returns a detailed suggested mating list for your consideration, plus a report outlining a range of outcomes from the suggested matings such as the genetic gains that will be achieved and the level of inbreeding in the progeny. A flat fee of $165 (inc GST) applies to access a MateSel analysis for your herd, and results are returned promptly, usually within one working day. MateSel is only available to members of Breed Societies which are using ILR2 software and have at least one selection index.

Through optimised mating allocations, MateSel enables you to:
• Maximise the rate of genetic gain in your herd while managing inbreeding at the same time.
• Save significant time previously spent compiling mating lists.
• Make informed decisions about semen purchases, which bulls to use, animal selection or culling, mating group formation and mate allocations.
• Include objectivity and proven science in your mating decisions.
• Add significant value to your business by way of additional genetic gain and management of inbreeding to offset the cost of pedigree and performance recording.
Further information regarding MateSel and the benefits it offers are available from the following links

To learn more about MateSel, or to download the Excel template for submitting a list of candidate sires and dams,click here  or contact Andrew Byrne at SBTS on 02 6773 3357 or via email at andrew@sbts.une.edu.au. Completed MateSel Excel templates can be emailed to matesel@breedplan.une.edu.au.Matsel

A Genetic Approach to Internal Parasite Control

A recently completed research project led by Dr Peter Honey from Charles Sturt University has demonstrated that resistance to internal parasites can be improved through genetic selection, and it is likely that it is possible to select for greater resistance to internal parasites within a breeding program without compromising other commercially important traits.

The research project focussed on resistance to internal parasites in pasture based breeding herds in south eastern Australia with faecal egg count (FEC) samples taken from Angus cattle in 8 herds from Coolah in northern NSW to Mortlake in the Victorian western district. All calves were bred by AI using known fully BREEDPLAN recorded bulls with samples taken on animals between 6 and 17 months of age. Approximately 2500 samples, representing progeny from 77 different sires were evaluated in the research project.

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Inbreeding – Be Alert but not Alarmed!

Inbreeding is basically the mating of animals that are related. Within the pedigree of the mated sire and dam, one or more animals will be in common; resulting in progeny with a certain level of inbreeding. The level of inbreeding will depend on the relationship between the two mated animals. The closer the relationship, the greater the level of inbreeding that will occur in the resulting progeny.

Linebreeding is the deliberate mating of closely related animals with the perceived objective to concentrate desirable characteristics of the progeny and to breed consistency”.

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There is no magic level that is considered an acceptable level of inbreeding within a breeding program, with the goal in most breeding programs being to manage inbreeding rather than totally avoid it. Breeding programs that simply avoid inbreeding without considering the genetic merit of the animals used within the mating program are not likely to be economically sustainable in the long term

The Cutting Edge – Webinar Course

Comprised of 6 one hour presentations delivered via the internet during August and September, the webinar course was facilitated by staff from Southern Beef Technology Services (SBTS) & Tropical Beef Technology Services (TBTS), and presented by senior beef industry scientists from the Beef CRC. The webinar course was well attended with a total audience of over 500 people and 250 individual seedstock enterprises.

The topics presented during the webinar course included:

  1. Genetics for Reproduction – The Female Influence
  2. Genetics for Reproduction – The Male Influence
  3. Relationship between Body Composition and Calving Rate
  4. Effect of Genetic Differences in Fat and Net Feed Intake on Efficiency of Weaner Production
  5. The Beef CRC DNA test for Growth, Feed Efficiency, Carcase and Reproductive Performance
  6. The Australian DNA Test for the Polled Gene

All presentations in the “The Cutting Edge” webinar course can now be viewed from the webinars page on the SBTS (http://sbts.une.edu.au) and TBTS (http://tbts.une.edu.au) websites.
From either the SBTS or TBTS homepage, select “Webinars” from the left hand menu and then click on the title of the presentation that is of interest.