Technical Updates

Providing you with the latest technical information

The following “Wagyu Technical Updates” have been pulled from past editions of the Wagyu Update Magazine and contain valuable information regarding the entire Wagyu Sector.

 

THIRD & FOURTH GENERATION WAGYU PROVEN SIRES

August 2021 – Issue 78

This article challenges two long-held myths in the Wagyu Sector. The first is that only the Foundation Sires (first generation sires out of Japan) are proven sires for carcase traits. The second is that having raw carcase data for the sires in your herd is the most important information relating to that sire’s genetic merit.

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WHAT DO PREFECTURES TELL US ABOUT THE GENETICS OF WAGYU CATTLE IN AUSTRALIA

August 2021 – Issue 78

Prefectures are the term used to indicate where in Japan Wagyu cattle originated from, where the animals which came to Australia were sourced from. There were at least 7 prefectures included in the original import of animals into Australia. Reducing the available diversity from the 364 individuals down to 7 prefectures or bloodlines results in a significant loss of useful pedigree information that is beneficial for managing genetic gain and maintaining genetic diversity.

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IMPROVE YOUR BREEDING DECISIONS WITH MATESEL

August 2020 – Issue 75

The decision of which bull to mate with which cow impacts the rate of genetic improvement, inbreeding levels and overall profitability of a herd. MateSel is software which uses pedigree, $Index and EBV information to create suggested mating lists based on nominated candidate sires and dams to increase the genetic merit of the progeny while containing inbreeding in the herd.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO SHIGESHIGETANI’S MARBLE SCORE EBV    

January 2021 – Issue 76

An animals breeding value is often defined as its genetic merit, and while it is not possible to define its true breeding values, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) give us a good indication of the potential of an animal. The EBV of an animal is determined by the data provided for that animal, genotypes and phenotypes, including the data of progeny and relatives.

Large chunks of performance data are often submitted to AWA by members, and these can cause the EBVs of animals to fluctuate quite significantly. As an example, an additional 46 carcase records added to the system caused a change of +1.0 to Shigeshigetani’s (WKSFP1593) Marble Score EBV.

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DIVERSITY BRINGS GENETIC STRENGTH

April 2020 – Issue 74

Often breeders look to use genetics which are closely related to concentrate on desirable characteristics, and genetics which have worked for them in the past. There are positives to using inbreeding techniques in a breeding operation, however there are risks associated: inbreeding depression in production traits, reduction in genetic diversity and increase homozygosity of recessive conditions.

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WHY MORE PERFORMANCE DATA

January 2020 – Issue 73

Carcase data has been a large contributor to the improvements seen in Wagyu BREEDPLAN over the last few years. The records have boosted accuracies for carcase EBVs for a large number of sires with progeny that had carcase data recorded. The information used to calculate EBVs can be categorised into three main contributors; genetic merit of related animals, the genotype of the animal and then performance data recorded.

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BREEDPLAN AND YOU

April 2019 – Issue 71

There is a misconception that only large herds have the scale to make performance recording for submitting data to Wagyu BREEDPLAN effective. Performance recording is in fact valuable for all herd sizes and is the key to genetic progress.

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FLUSH SISTERS OR FLUSH BROTHERS ARE NOT IDENTICAL TWINS

April 2019 – Issue 71

Many Wagyu breeders are amazed at at the physical diversity that can be seen between full sisters or full brothers that are produced from the same flush. This diversity is a result of genetic differences between embryos that is created by the unique sample of parental DNA in each egg and in each sperm that are brought together during fertilisation.

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Important Notice and Disclaimer


It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs published in Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only be directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN analysis.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries, ownership or breeding details in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading. For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

Regarding prefectural content, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
  • The calculation of prefectural content for Australian Herdbook animals relies on the accuracy of pedigree records and DNA samples provided by AWA members.
  • The reporting of prefectural content for animals within the AWA Herdbook relies on the calculation provided by ABRI.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the EBVs of a particular animal, then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.