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Qualitative (categorical) traits:  Those traits in which there is a sharp distinction between phenotypes, such as black vs. red or polled vs. horned. Only one or a few pairs of genes are involved in the expression of many qualitative traits. Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL):  A gene locus that has an effect on a quantitative trait. Often the actual nucleotide sequence is unknown, so selection is based upon genotype at a linked gene marker. Quantitative traits:  Those traits, such as weaning weight, in which there is no sharp distinction in the range of phenotypes, with a gradual variation from one extreme to the other. Usually, many gene pairs are involved as well as environmental influences affect variation for such traits. Random mating:  A system of mating in which every female (cow and/or heifer) has an RAPDs:  Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNAs. Genetic markers that are randomly amplified using PCR with random primers to find polymorphic regions. Rate of genetic improvement:  The amount of improvement per unit of time (year). The rate of improvement is dependent on: (1) heritability of traits considered, (2) selection differentials, (3) genetic correlations among traits considered, (4) generation interval in the herd, and (5) the number of traits for which selections are made. Ratio:  An expression of an animal's performance for a particular trait relative to the herd or contemporary group average. It is calculated for most traits as: Individual Record X 100. Group Average Recessive:  Recessive alleles are expressed only when homozygous. They must have been inherited from both parents before the phenotype with which they are associated can be expressed. At the locus affected the growth or absence of horns, for example, homozygous recessive pp individuals are horned whereas PP and Pp individuals are polled. Reduced animal model:  A genetic prediction procedure in which EPDs are computed directly for all parents in the population, while EPDs for non-parents and progeny are computed from the parent solutions. Predictions are equal and equivalent to those from the animal model. See animal model and sire model. Reference sire:  A bull that has previously been progeny tested and subjected to national cattle evaluation that is used concurrently with a test sire or sires in a new progeny test program. Reference sires provide genetic linkages among herds and/or existing databases, allowing indirect comparison of the test sire with bulls evaluated at other places and times. Regression:  A measure of the relationship between two variables expressing the expected change in one of them per unit change in the other. Using regression methods, the value of one trait can be predicted by knowing the value of others. For example, easily obtained carcass traits (hot carcass weight, fat thickness, rib eye area, and percentage of internal fat) are used to predict percent cutability. Relationship matrix:  A table that stores numerical values for the genetic relationships among all pairs of animals in a population. It is used in genetic prediction technology to properly predict the genetic merit of each animal from its own phenotypic merit and that of all of its relatives. Relative economic value:  The amount by which net income to the cattle enterprise will change, per unit change in genetic merit for a trait. Restriction enzyme (Endonuclease):  – One of over 150 enzymes derived from bacteria that recognizes specific DNA sequences and cuts the DNA at those sites. Restriction site – The specific recognition site in DNA at which a specific restriction enzyme cuts the DNA. RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism):  Polymorphism identified by digesting DNA with a restriction enzyme. Individuals differ in their resulting fragment patterns, which are visualized radioactively after separation through gel electrophoresis Rib eye area:  Area in square inches of the longissimus muscle measured at the 12th rib interface on the beef forequarter. Ribonucleic acid (RNA):  A single-stranded molecule composed of ribonucleotides. RNA differs from DNA in that it contains the base uracil (U) instead of thymine (T). RNA is formed from DNA through transcription. It is involved in transferring and translating the genetic message from a gene into a protein product with a specific physiological function. Rotational crossbreeding:  Systems of crossing two or more breeds where the crossbred females are bred to bulls of the breed contributing the lowest proportion of genes to those females. Rotational crossbreeding systems maintain relatively high levels of heterosis and allow for replacement heifers to be produced from within the system. Roundup:  Times when ranches will gather cattle for vaccinations, wean calves and prepare them to be sold.
Source: Beef Improvement Federation
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