The full-blood Piedmontese animal is the unique genetic package capable of revolutionizing beef production. In the early stages of understanding the connections and effects of the various genes (including myostatin) in this breed, NAPA believes it is critical to preserve the full-blood gene pool. In NAPA, therefore, full-blood registrations are maintained in a category separate from any and all crossbred Piedmontese cattle. NAPA does not utilize an "upgraded purebred" registration format. Homozygous Piedmontese cattle are either registered as full-blood (if they meet the criteria) or as Naturalean™ Piedmontese.
The Naturalean™ category of registry/recordation is for Piedmontese cattle that carry some other breed influence (crossbred) and/or cattle that could have qualified for full-blood registry, but which cannot meet the requirements for registered pedigree. (That is, a sire or dam was not registered, or parentage cannot be verified.) In all cases, the cattle must be DNA tested and confirmed to carry at least one copy of the Piedmontese-specific myostatin gene. Naturalean™ Registration papers are printed on grey paper, and carry the registration number prefix of "N" or "NU". The "NU" prefix indicates that the registered pedigree information is incomplete. Full-blood registrations are printed on white paper and registry numbers do not have a prefix (except those indicating ET, for Embryo Transplant).
Naturalean™ test-verified, heterozygous (1-copy) animals are deemed recorded and their registration number prefix states recorded. Naturalean™ homozygous (2-copy) animals are deemed registered.
NAPA is very supportive of breeders' desire to introduce genetic influences into Piedmontese from other breeds. The Naturalean™ category allows breeders great flexibility in their programs, while ensuring that the primary genetic influence from the myostatin gene is not lost. Piedmontese breeders may crossbreed to introduce polled or color genetic features, with the Naturalean registration papers also indicating the level of known Piedmontese blood (as a percentage, for example 50%, 75%, 99%) and clearly stating if the animal carries 1 or 2 alleles for myostatin. No animal will be recorded that does not carry at least one Piedmontese-specific myostatin gene.