Genetic Relationship of Body Energy and Blood Metabolites with Reproduction in Holstein Cows

Genetic Relationship of Body Energy and Blood Metabolites with Reproduction in Holstein Cows,10.3168/jds.2008-1018,Journal of Dairy Science,G. Oikonom

Genetic Relationship of Body Energy and Blood Metabolites with Reproduction in Holstein Cows   (Citations: 2)
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Body condition score (BCS), energy content (EC), cumulative effective energy balance (CEEB), and blood serum concentrations of glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) were measured throughout first lactation in 497 Holstein cows raised on a large commercial farm in northern Greece. All these traits are considered to be indicators of a cow's energy balance. An additional measure of BCS, EC, and blood serum glucose, BHBA, and NEFA concentrations were taken approximately 2 mo (61 ± 23 d) before first calving. During first lactation, first service conception rate, conception rate in the first 305 d of lactation, interval from calving to conception, num- ber of inseminations per conception, incidence of metri- tis, and incidence of reproductive problems of these cows were recorded; interval between first and second calving, and second lactation first service conception rate were also recorded. Random regression models were used to calculate weekly animal breeding values for first lactation BCS, EC, CEEB, glucose, BHBA, and NEFA. Single trait animal models were used to calculate breeding values for these traits measured on pregnant heifers before calving. Reproductive records were then regressed on animal breeding values for these energy balance-related traits to derive estimates of their genetic correlations. Several significant esti- mates were obtained. In general, traits that are known to be positively correlated with energy balance (BCS, EC, CEEB, and glucose) were found to have a favorable genetic relationship with reproduction, meaning that increased levels of the former will lead to an enhance- ment of the latter. On the other hand, traits known to be negatively correlated with energy balance (BHBA and NEFA) were found to have an unfavorable genetic association with reproductive traits. Body condition score, BHBA, and NEFA recorded early in lactation, and glucose concentrations measured in pregnant heif- ers had the highest genetic correlation with future re- productive performance. Results suggest that genetic selection for body energy and blood metabolites could facilitate the genetic improvement of fertility and over- all reproductive efficiency of dairy cows.
Journal: Journal of Dairy Science - J DAIRY SCI , vol. 91, no. 11, pp. 4323-4332, 2008
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