Promogen diagnostic test identifies beef and dairy cattle with genetic traits that contribute to sustainability.

March 12, 2024

2 Min Read

Anova Biosciences announced March 12 the availability of Promogen, a new diagnostic test designed to revolutionize sustainable cattle breeding practices.

Anova Biosciences, an agricultural research leader, said it has identified stress-resistant biomarker proteins, named "Defensins," present in specific cattle populations.

Backed by more than two decades of research, the company said the Promogen test leverages this scientific breakthrough to enhance productivity, disease resistance, and environmental sustainability in the beef and dairy industries.

The proprietary and patents pending diagnostic test quantifies biomarker protein concentrations in specific body fluids. According to the company, this enables the identification of "super cows" – individuals naturally exhibiting significantly higher levels of these beneficial proteins. Research indicates that these superior genetic profiles lead to enhanced feed efficiency, disease resistance, and overall productivity in beef and dairy cattle.

Anova Biosciences noted in its news release that the beef and dairy industries face challenges related to sustainability, with consumer concerns about methane emissions, antimicrobial use and environmental impact. It said Promogen aims to address these issues by identifying and selecting cattle with superior genetic traits that contribute to sustainability.

Promogen measures the concentration of Defensins biomarker proteins through a simple test using samples of raw or frozen semen, saliva, uterine mucus, and freshly harvested colostrum. The test provides a Promogen score (3.0 to 6.5), with higher values indicating a greater concentration of the desirable stress-resistant proteins.

Anova Biosciences has tested more than 4,000 cows and demonstrated that high-scoring animals exhibit traits leading to longer, more productive lives.

In an independently conducted research project involving more than 200 Angus cattle, high-scoring Promogen animals outperformed industry-average animals in terms of days on feed, average daily gain, feed efficiency, and profit, with the high-scoring animals providing an additional $158.92 profit, according to the company.

“The Promogen test can identify individuals at birth that are physiologically capable of optimum adaptation to their environment and the stresses that are inherent in it,” Dr. Bill Julien, founder of Anova Biosciences, said. “That saves years of investment for producers who would otherwise retain low-scoring, underperforming animals. That’s true sustainability and profitability – so it’s a win-win.”

Promogen researchers discovered Defensins' biological activity, acting as biomarkers and infection fighters. Such biomarkers have shown similar merit in human health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, the company said Defensins concentration predicted pulmonary support needs and patient outcomes.

The ongoing research emphasizes the value of Defensins in predicting animals' ability to thrive and respond to stress, Anova Biosciences noted, adding that Promogen testing provides early insights into future productivity, allowing for precise selection and herd management.

Anova Biosciences said it is actively engaging with key stakeholders, including seedstock producers, commercial cattle producers, processors, and retailers. The company is also seeking investment partners to advance the application of the test among cattle producers. For more information, visit

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