Current status for the Hereford breed
The microsatellite based haplotype test for Poll (POLL) (MLA project B.AWW.0222) developed by researchers at CSIRO, University of New England and The University of Queensland has been a major improvement on tests previously available. It was designed to be suitable for Bos taurus breeds, Bos indicus breeds and composite cattle as is the requirement in the Australian Livestock sector. The haplotype test is set apart from other Poll tests by its ability to ‘learn and adapt’ as new data is entered into the system; each time a new set of data is entered into the system the entire dataset is reanalysed according to the updated information. Since its introduction in October 2013, over 18000 cattle across a diverse range of breeds have been tested with this version of the Poll test.
To date, 3220 Hereford samples have been tested at UQ’s Animal Genetics Laboratory (UQ-AGL). The results are shown below in Figure 1. This test shows predicted confidence of up to 98% for homozygous carriers of Poll (PP) in Hereford, and the undesirable Not Determined outcome is occurring in 7% of animals tested.
Genomic research has recently identified new mutations that are associated with Polledness in Celtic and dairy breeds of Bos taurus cattle, including one mutation in breeds originating from Scandinavia, Great Britain, France and South-Germany, figuratively called polledness of Celtic origin, Pc (1). These markers have been added to the most recent SNP chips including GGPLD and GGPUHD chips used by HAL.