Interpretive Summary: Genetic architecture of a composite beef cattle population
By: El Hamidi Hay, Sajjad Toghiani, Andrew J Roberts, Tiago Paim, Larry Alexander Kuehn, Harvey D Blackburn
Composite breeds are commonly used in the U.S. beef industry since they provide producers with benefits such as breed complementarity and retained heterosis. However, cattle composite genomes are not well characterized. Therefore, in this study, genomic information was used to evaluate the genetic composition and characteristics of a three-breed composite (50% Red Angus, 25% Charolais, and 25% Tarentaise). The analysis showed an increase in the proportion of Tarentaise to approximately 57%, whereas Charolais decreased to approximately 5% and Red Angus decreased to 38%. Furthermore, new genome segments formed around the sixth generation. These changes show that progenitor breed proportions are not stable over generations and that either direct or natural selection plays a role in modifying the proportions. The increase in Tarentaise proportion suggests useful attributes to the composite in a cool semi-arid environment.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.