University of Nebraska — Lincoln (UNL) researchers recently identified two new genetic mutations, delayed blindness in Herefords and bovine familial convulsions and ataxia (BFCA) in Angus cattle.

The two genetic mutations and the tools to address them will help producers make breeding decisions to reduce health issues.

Work between UNL researchers and the American Hereford Association led to a recently announced commercial test for a new genetic condition, delayed blindness. The investigation began after several American Herefords were reported blind in both eyes, with presumed onset around 12 months of age.

For the other mutation discovered by researchers, bovine familial convulsions and ataxia (BFCA) in Angus cattle, researchers identified a dominant mutation that causes bovine familial convulsions and ataxia (BFCA) in a single Angus herd. The calves that inherited the mutation experienced seizures and were unable to thrive. Through genetic investigation, researchers discovered that the mutation was only in the affected calves and their sire, though the sire was seemingly unaffected.

Read more about the recently discovered genetic mutations here.