Genetics New Zealand


Accurate. Affordable. Dependable.


  • i50K is a more affordable option to help Angus breeders begin testing or test more animals
  • Uses imputation to predict HD 50K genotypes from a lower-density genotype subset
  • One sample for GE-EBVs, parentage, genomic percentile ranks and potentially Sire Match
  • Effectively the same accuracy as HD 50K associated GE-EBVs
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  • i50K is an imputed genomic selection tool. Genomics uses many DNA markers to derive breeding values. Breeding values from this genomic tool are called molecular value predictions (MVPs). MVPs are similiar to estimated breeding values (eBVs) generated from a traditional genetic evaluation system except they are derived using an animals DNA profile. For a list of the traits delivered as MVPs from i50K, refer to “Traits” below.

    i50K tests are very accurate and lead to dependable genomically enhanced eBVs (GE-EBVs),
    indexes and accuracy values that are effectively the same as those from HD 50K, the gold standard for genomic prediction in Black Angus.

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    Zoetis uses a process called imputation to deliver the i50K product. The imputation process uses pattern recognition to predict higher density genotypes from a subset of strategically selected genetic markers. Pattern recognition is a concept that’s similar to the way humans still can read sentences even when letters are missing.

  • Timing of i50K testing is dependant on the breeding program, but generally speaking is should be aligned with gaining the most amount of information possible for selection decisions within the breeding program or for marketing purposes when there is a requirement for more, accurate information to be supplied:

    Use i50K:

    • As a calf for the most gain to be made from increased breeding value accuracy and sire verification
    • On yearling animals to make sure that those you initially identify as replacements, actually have the potential to perform in the herd
    • On ET donor candidates to ensure your decisions about multiplying female genetics are correct
    • On 2yo bulls where your market appreciates the additional value achieved by complementing your bull sales catalogue with i50K tested animals


  • Improves management decisions and increases efficiencies. Traditional breeding value selection has relied upon eBVs. While a useful tool, they can be unreliable for selecting young animals. eBVs of young animals can change significantly over time especially as performance data of progeny or those of relatives, contribute to an evaluation.

    Use i50K to gain extra breeding value accuracy on unproven bulls or heifers where traditional information sources can be unreliable. i50K adds accuracy to breeding values when combined into traditional evaluation systems. 

    i50K makes it easier than ever to know if an animal should be:

    • Selected to enter the breeding herd
    • Used as a donor female in an embryo transfer program
    • Marketed based on unique genetic attributes

    Use THIS CHART as an indication of the gain in accuracy achieved from i50K testing. i50K testing heifers or bulls at different times who have different stages of recording against them will result in varying accuracy increases. 

    MVPs from i50K can be combined or blended with traditional eBVs to generate genomic enhanced estimated breeding values (GE-EBVs). This an important step in making the most from your investment in eBVs and well as MVPs. A GE-EBV is the most accurate selection tool that Angus breeders have ever had access to.

    Nothing delivers greater dependability to help predict the genetic merit of young, unproven Angus
    cattle, and enhance the scope of selection for relatively proven animals for difficult, time-consuming and hard-to-measure traits.

    Zoetis Genetics can automatically upload your i50K results to Breedplan for integration with the Angus Group run. Look for the 'Genomics' logo in the Traits Observed section of any animal enquiry page to verify integration of i50K.

    i50K testing takes time. Usual turn-around time of i50K testing is 3 working weeks which will result in your i50K MVP report from Zoetis. However you will be wanting your i50K MVPs to be incorporated with your eBVs on Breedplan so remember to submit your samples well in advance of the required Angus Group Breedplan run (about the 15th of the month).

    There are various aspects to the results delivered with HD50K:

    1. Molecular Value Predictions (MVPs) – MVPs are breeding values generated from an animal’s DNA profile only. MVPs for all 22 traits (listed in the section above) are reported with each animals results report. Results are reported in the units of the trait. For example, Weaning Weight (WWT) is reported in kilograms (kg).

    1. Percent ranks (%) - Beneath the MVP is an indication of the animals rank position for each trait benchmarked against all of the animals used in the reported calibartion (latest calibration February 2015, 8,500 animals). A percent rank of 1% indicates that the animals is ranked in the top 1% of all aniamls in the resource for a trait. A percent rank of 85% indicates that the animals is ranked in the top 85% (or bottom 15%) of all aniamls in the resource for a trait.
    2. Summary Statistics - Near the end of the report is a section called Summary Statistics. This section provides the Max, Min and Average MVPs for each trait in the report. Max, Min and Average MVPs for all of the benchmark animals in the benchmarking resource (8,500 at February 2015) are also provided allowing users to examine where their population of animals sit compared to others.
  • Similar to HD 50K, i50K enables Sire Match for progeny.

    • Use i50K and HD 50K in candidate sires in preparation for Sire Match technology that extends to your commercial farmers
    • Sire assignment is an exclusive benefit for progeny of i50K- and HD 50K-tested bulls when using these products
  • The traits delivered as part of i50K are:

      Trait  Abbreviation Units
    Calving Calving Ease Direct  CE %
    Calving Ease Daughters CE Dtrs %
    Gestation Length GL days
    Birth Weight  BW kg
    Growth 200 day  200d kg
    400 day 400d kg
    Average Daily Gain  ADG kg/day
    600 day 600d kg
    Mature Cow Weight MCW kg
    Milk Milk kg
    Fertility Scrotal Size SS cm
    Days to Calving DC days
    Carcase Carcase Weight  CWt kg
    Eye Muscle Area  EMA cm2
    Rib Fat  Rib mm
    Rump Fat Rump mm
    Retail Beef Yield RBY %
    Intramuscular Fat  IMF %
    Tenderness  Tend  kg SF
    Efficiency Dry Matter Intake  DMI kg/day
    Net Feed Intake Feedlot NFIF kg/day
    Net Feed Intake post-weaning NFIP kg/day


  • When performance recording, it’s difficult to record everything and even more difficult to record everything well. i50K provides accurate information equivalent to having recorded progeny on the ground. For example, the information provided by i50K for Yearling Weight, is equivalent to having an eBV and accuracy derived from 7 progeny records.

    Trait Progeny Equivalants
    Calving Ease Direct 7
    Gestation Length 4
    Birth Weight 5
    200 Day Weight 9
    400 Day Weight 7
    600 Day Weight 6
    Mature Cow Weight 6
    Milk 13
    Scrotal Size 7
    Carcase Weight 3
    Eye Muscle Area 3
    Rump Fat 3
    Intra Muscular Fat 2
    Days to Calving 8
    Retail Beef Yield 5
    Rib Fat 8


  • i50K is catching the attention of some users of SireTrace. SireTrace is the current standard DNA parentage solution for beef where calves are verified to recorded sires and dams or matched to sires and dams in multi-sire mating scenarios.

    i50K also includes parent verification when a parent is nominated, so some users of SireTrace are considering migrating their annual calf crop to i50K. The cost of SireTrace ($23) is then absorbed into the cost of i50K ($69) making the value of GE-EBVs even more compelling i.e. genomics is achieved across all 22 i50K traits for the addition of $46.

    Whether migrating from SireTrace or wanting to verify the sire of an i50K tested bull, simply inform the customer services team of the nominated sire when completing the i50K sample submission form. Sires that are indicated as being Zoetis tested on the American Angus Association web site can also be nominated without having to re-genotype in New Zealand.