Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : October 2013 Contents 60 The Dairyman October 2013
- Lubricated seal
- Heavy duty gearbox
- High Pressure
- 120-240 m3/hr
- Double chopper system on some models
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PTO EFFLUENT PUMP
LIC began its investment into biotech-
nology in the early 1990s. The
technology has changed dramatically
since those early days and five years ago,
let alone 20, we could not have envisaged
what we have achieved today.
LIC's first application of biotechnol-
ogy occurred in the late 1990s when we
started to use Marker Assisted Selection
to select bulls. We had two or three genes
we had identified in the genome that
affected milk production.
However, after two years of applica-
tion we discontinued Marker Assisted
Selection as the method did not explain
enough genetic variation in the genome to
make extra genetic progress.
The game breaker for genomic
research occurred in 2000 when the
human genome was sequenced for the
first time after 10 years of research and at
a cost of US$2 billion.
Around the same time a Dutch scien-
tist, in conjunction with two Australians,
wrote a paper stating that genomic selec-
tion was a new way to select bulls based
on their DNA profile.
LIC continued its research and
continued to find more genes of interest
and then, in 2005 and 2006 the bovine
genome was sequenced after two years of
research and at a cost of US$50 million.
That discovery opened the door for
organisations to develop marker panels
making it more affordable, and achiev-
able, for organisations like LIC to begin
using genomic selection.
The genomic selection tool, for the
first time, provided us with an ability to
look across the entire genome and find
markers which were close to genes of
interest. The LIC semen banks contained
DNA from sires that had been progeny
tested over the previous 30 years and
genotyping these animals enabled us to
harness this new science.
This comprehensive dataset meant we
were able to identify markers which were
important, leading to the development
of the DNA Proven bull team in 2008.
(This term was subsequently changed to
Since 2008, LIC has increased the
number of sires which have been geno-
typed from 3000-4000 to 7000-8000 and
have also genotyped 60,000 dairy cows.
Genomic selection provides an indication
of a bull's potential so reliability is under-
tion is an area
and focus for all
in the science.
tested bulls have
around 85 per
and the goal for
tion is to achieve
reliability of 65
LIC has shared the genomic infor-
mation of around 1200 bulls with CRV
Ambreed in New Zealand and also
swaps data with the Irish and Australian
dairy industries. However, the unique-
ness of New Zealand's dairy environ-
ment (the way we feed and graze our
animals) means that genotypes from other
countries have low information content
which is applicable to New Zealand and
this increases the imperative for LIC to
continue its investment in this area.
In recent times, LIC researchers have
found two genes -- the first a spontaneous
mutation which occurred in a sire called
Halcyon and which was passed to his
son, Matrix. What became known as the
Matrix mutation is a dominant defect so
half of all progeny received the gene from
Matrix and also had the same phenotype.
More recently, we discovered a reces-
sive gene which has been in the dairy
herd for at least 100 years and which is
one of the causes of small calves born in
holstein friesian herds.In New Zealand,
when we launched our first commercial
team of genomically selected sires, we
believed they might deliver an advantage
of between 20 and 40 BW points over
their progeny tested.
What this means is that organisa-
tions like LIC will continue to uncover
variations which have been in the bovine
population for years and give tools to
farmers so they can avoid those matings
and progressively breed these defects out
of the national herd.
Dr Richard Spelman, LIC
general manager research
DR RICHARD SPELMAN
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