Feed intake and efficiency of beef cattle are economically relevant traits, which impact on the profitability, global competitiveness, and environmental sustainability of the industry. Several studies have shown that considerable phenotypic and genetic variation exists for various measures of feed efficiency, suggesting that considerable genetic progress would be expected with traditional selection schemes. A major limiting factor in such selection, however, is the cost and time associated with collection of individual feed intake on relevant animals. Recent attempts to characterize the genomic and metabolic mechanisms leading to variation in feed efficiency have been very promising. Tools from genomics and marker validation studies could be useful in marker assisted evaluation as an augmentation to traditional genetic evaluation and improvement programs, and provide a stepping stone to still higher levels of performance and efficiency.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 03.06, 2006
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