Genetics New Zealand




HornPoll is a DNA test from Zoetis Genetics that is used to identify the probability of an animal carrying zero, one or two copies of the poll variant of the gene. This simple yet effective DNA test allows for the identification of genetically polled animals and ultimately the removal of horned animals from the herd.

Understanding the HornPoll status of a bull is important when determining whether a potential new bull meets your breeding objectives.

The HornPoll test is used to determine whether an animal is ‘true polled’ (homozygous -PP-), or is a carrier of horned genetics (heterozygous -Ph-). The polled variant of the gene (P) is usually dominant to the horned variant of the gene (h), which means polled animals may be either PP or Ph.

Homozygous -PP- animals will always pass a copy of the polled variant to their offspring, increasing the likelihood that the offspring will be polled. Identifying breeding animals that carry two copies of the polled variant will dramatically reduce the requirement for dehorning in subsequent generations.

Zoetis developed this test by combining key markers reported in the literature with informative markers discovered through internal research efforts based on information dense populations: phenotypes, pedigreed, progeny-tested, tested by multiple agencies in several countries including Australia.

Zoetis Horn/Poll Test Accuracy

95% in Simmental 94% in Limousin 98% in Brahman 94% in Hereford 100% in Angus 90% in Charolais 92% in Gelbvieh 86% in Beefmaster >99% in Shorthorn

What breeds can the test be used for?

The test has been used widely across Brahman, Droughtmaster, Santa Gertrudis, Brangus, Tropical Composite, Limousin, Charolais, Hereford, Simmental, Gelbvieh, Beefmaster & Shorthorn and gives good results in all of these breeds.

Is polled always dominant to horned?

In Bos taurus breeds, polled is almost always dominant to horned; -PP- animals are always polled and -Ph- animals are usually always polled (they are sometimes scurred). In Bos indicus influenced breeds, such as Brahman and Droughtmaster, this is not necessarily the case. Whilst -PP- animals are usually always polled, -Ph- animals can be polled, scurred and sometimes horned. For example, an Angus bull bred to horned Brahman cows will produce offspring that all have a genotype of -Ph- but can be a mixture of polled, scurred and horned. Whilst the vast majority will be polled and scurred, some horned animals are usually observed due to the influence of other genes interacting with the poll gene.

Download our HornPoll Product Information Sheet for more information.

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