I have been closely involved with the launch of the poll gene test by former MLA Chair Don Heatley in Brisbane in 2010. The poll gene is associated with horns in cattle.
I worked with Beef CRC to communicate the results of testing in research animal cohorts and recruit commercial beef producers to participate in an industry evaluation of the effectiveness of the test in commercial cattle populations. The Australian poll gene test has been developed by Beef CRC, Meat & Livestock Australia and CSIRO in collaboration with Australian cattle producers such as Tom Mann in Charters Towers and the Streeter family in Bowen. We were successul is securing the participation of commercial cattle enterprises in Northern and Southern Australia, across breeds, to work with us to validate the poll gene test. Increasingly it is being shown that genomic testing is only useful if conducted in local cattle and environmental production systems. Results for the United States will not be valid for Australian cattle producers. The Australian-developed poll gene test, which has been designed specifically for Indicus breeds like Brahman which comprise half of the Australian beef cattle herd, is also being successfully by commercial breeders across breeds, such as Herefords. I helped put together the attached FAQ as part of communicating the outcomes of the industry trials across breeds. The FAQ is part of a suite of information on the poll gene test developed by the Beef CRC. Given that I was involved in some of the earliest communication about the discovery of the poll gene, led by Dr Kishore Pragaya, when I worked in what was then CSIRO Livestock Industries in 2005-06, this has been a satisfying project to work on.