Focus on genetic linkage and genomic analysis

AWA-PTP testing progeny for high-value traits

The AWA Progeny Test Program (AWA-PTP) will further advance the highly successful Wagyu BREEDPLAN genetic analysis by testing progeny from the maximum number of emerging industry sires for high-value traits. The program aims to generate comprehensive progeny test data on approximately 250 emerging Wagyu bulls. In addition, it will also capture data on thousands of heifer progeny for hard-to-measure traits such as fertility and maternal performance and thousands of steer progeny for feed efficiency, carcase, and eating quality traits.

The program will create high-accuracy EBVs for project sires and cows and benefit all members through genetic linkage and genomic analysis. For example, the EBV accuracy of a bull that has undergone progeny testing can improve from 50% accuracy to 90% accuracy resulting in improved breeding decisions and rate of genetic improvement in the Wagyu breed across all herds. 

Ryan Carter from ACC Beef says “we were interested to compare how our sires performed outside our own programs and to contrast our joining outcomes with Matesel recommendations. Being involved can only help to validate the accuracies of current and future estimated breeding values. We strongly encourage seedstock marketers to become involved and stand by their products. All available assistance should be provided to ensure no potential stars slip through the cracks”.

On the 28 June this year the first calf was born from Cohort 1. Since then a further 806 of the 947 calves expected in Cohort 1 have been born, of which 422 are males, and 384 are females. Progress is underway in Cohort 2 also with 315 cows having been artificially inseminated. By May next year (2023), it’s expected that approximately two thousand cows will be joined. All progeny will be genomically SNP tested and comprehensively performance recorded to support whole-of-life progeny performance evaluation. The data will be used in Wagyu BREEDPLAN to produce and improve Wagyu breeding values.

Progeny test programs are the best approach to achieving genetic gain in any breed. AWA members are urged to become involved in the program and nominate their sires to enhance Wagyu genetics further. Any Australian or international-based AWA member can nominate sires for the AWA-PTP, giving you the opportunity to have the next generation of sires proven through the program for current and new traits. There is also the opportunity for cow herds to be benchmarked, with a minimum of 150 second-calf females to be submitted. Paul Harris from Sunland Cattle Company said “we are happy to contribute to the betterment of the breed and would like to compare our cattle to the AWA standards and other people’s cattle”. 

Sire nominations for Cohort 3 is open to any AWA member wishing to nominate sires into the program. Nominations to close on 16 December 2022 – learn more

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.