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Evaluation of Zoetis GeneMax Advantage genomic predictions in commercial Bos taurus Angus cattle

By Brian C. Arisman, Troy N. Rowan, Jordan M Thomas, Harly J Durbin, David J. Patterson, Jared E. Decker

Posted 25 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.23.353144

The GeneMax (GMX) Advantage test, developed by Zoetis, uses approximately 50,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) to predict the genomic potential of a commercial Angus heifer. Genetic predictions are provided for Calving Ease Maternal, Weaning Weight, Heifer Pregnancy, Milk, Mature Weight, Dry Matter Intake, Carcass Weight, Marbling, and Yield. Indices of economically important traits are estimated on an index score (1-100 scale) and are divided into three indices; Cow Advantage index, Feeder Advantage index, and Total Advantage index. The indices provide a genomic prediction of the profitability of the cow's calves. Therefore, test results can inform selection and culling decisions made by commercial beef cattle producers. To measure the accuracy of the trait predictions, data from commercial Angus females and their progeny at the University of Missouri Thompson Research Center was utilized to analyze weaning weight, milk, marbling, fat, ribeye area, and carcass weight. Progeny phenotypic data was matched to the respective dam, then the cow's genomic predictions were compared to the calf's age-adjusted phenotypes using correlation and linear models. All tested GeneMax scores of the dam were significantly correlated with and predicted calf performance. Our predicted effect sizes, except for fat thickness, were similar to those reported by Zoetis. In conclusion, the GeneMax Advantage test accurately ranks animals based on their genetic merit and is an effective selection tool in commercial cowherds. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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