"The biggest complication is that there are multiple gene combinations involved and not just one gene,” he explains.

“Mark Enns, Milton Thomas and myself here at Colorado State and the American Angus Association are developing PAP EPDs for use in helping select animals that will not be at risk for brisket disease. Mark and Milt are also working with any other breed that wants into this research. The Angus Association has teamed up with us to try to help speed the research, so PAP EPDs are now available and being utilized,” Holt says.

Milt Thomas

According to Milt Thomas, the success of an EPD depends on whether the trait is high or low in heritability. “In this case, most of our evidence suggests that PAP (as the indicator trait of tolerance to high altitude) is at least moderately heritable and in some cases highly heritable; there is a definite genetic component. With genomic information available, we are now using that information within the EPD system,” he says.

“We’ve been studying all the correlated traits between growth and PAP scores, and in some data sets there have been very strong correlations observed,” Thomas says.  end mark

To learn about brisket disease click here.


Milt Thomas. Photo courtesy of Milt Thomas.