Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 16, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The original goal of the cattle genome program at MARC was to construct genetic linkage maps sufficient to identify chromosomal segments that harbor quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting traits of economic importance in beef cattle. Similar goals at other locations involved both dairy and beef cattle. These programs have now produced sufficient data to identify numerous potential QTL influencing such disparate traits as fat thickness, retail product yield, ovulation rate, meat tenderness, or dairy form. In other words, a major part of the original goal has been accomplished. It now becomes essential to move to the next goal of implementing the results of these studies. At this point, it appears the application of gene mapping technology has substantially lagged behind the production of QTL data. The problems and some potential solutions will be examined, including the need for replication of QTL results, examination of their meaning within a particular breed or among breeds, and aspects of implementation with respect to introgression versus intra-herd selection. Many of the problems and approaches will be common to dairy cattle and to other livestock species, but some will be unique to beef cattle production systems. An overview of the process currently being employed at MARC to begin to address the problem of applying gene mapping results to improve the genetics of beef cattle herds is presented. We will also consider the impact that a new program to sequence and map large numbers of bovine ESTs will have on the current process.