American Simmental Association Announces Population-specific DNA Profile Offering Genomic-enhanced EPDs and Includes Parental Validation

December 04, 2012

CONTACT: Leoma Wells, American Simmental Association, 406.587.4531
Nicole Bechtel, GeneSeek, 503.756.1538

BOZEMAN, Mt. – December 4, 2012 – The American Simmental Association (ASA) announces a population-specific DNA profile offering genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) that also includes parental validation. In partnership with GeneSeek®, a Neogen Corporation Company, the ASA GE-EPDs are powered by the GeneSeek Bovine 50K.

The evolution in ASA genomic technology is a result of a multi-year collaborative effort between ASA, Carcass Merit Project cooperators, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), University of Illinois, University of Missouri, Montana State University, Iowa State University, National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) and GeneSeek.

“Through our partnerships with these highly-respected institutions over the past several years, ASA has built an impressive database of genotypes with over 3,000 Simmental, SimAngus and Simbrah samples,” says Dr. Wade Shafer, director of performance programs.

“DNA test results are incorporated into ASAs multi-breed genetic evaluation system in a new, more precise method than the current industry standard – which translates into more informative EPDs,” Dr. Shafer says. “As a bonus, the test also generates the DNA profile required for parental validation, making it a comprehensive and cost-effective option for ASA members.”

Dr. Elisa Marques, GeneSeek market development manager for genomics, says the increase in accuracy of ASA EPDs helps take some of the risk out of making selection decisions, especially when using young animals. “As an example, the increase in accuracy for birth weight is equivalent, on average, to adding six progeny records to an animal’s birth weight evaluation,” she says.

“In the case of stayability, the increase in accuracy is comparable to adding records from nine daughters in production,” Dr. Marques explains. “This can dramatically shorten generational intervals, allowing ASA members to make faster genetic progress.”

Dr. Dorian Garrick, Iowa State University Lush Chair in animal breeding and genetics and NBCEC executive director, has led the project research and development. “We have been able to take advantage of the data collected from the 3,000 animals sampled through the ASA, which includes sires from other breeds that have been used in ASA member herds,” says Dr. Garrick. “The immediate benefit we have today is the improvement in the predictions of offspring when cattle producers are making important selection and mating decisions for the future.”

“In the long run,” Dr. Garrick says, “growth in the population of genotyped animals and continued efforts in genomic research will further lift predictive performance and will revolutionize the cattle industry.”

To order DNA testing kits, ASA members should contact ASA. The Association will mail testing kits directly to producers for DNA sample gathering. Following collection, producers should mail the completed DNA samples to GeneSeek for processing. Results will be returned to ASA in a timely fashion for dissemination to the breeder and inclusion into the ASA database.

For more information about genomic-enhanced EPDs available from the American Simmental Association, contact your Simmental sales representative, call (406) 587-4531 or visit For more information about GeneSeek, call (877) 443-6489.

About the American Simmental Association

The American Simmental Association is headquartered in Bozeman, MT, and maintains the breed registries for the Simmental and Simbrah breeds of cattle. ASA has an active adult and junior membership of nearly 5,000. For more information about the Association, visit


Category: Solutions