Dairy cattle breeders have exploited technological advances in regard to reproduction and genomics. The implementation of such technologies in routine breeding programs has permitted genetic gains in traditional milk production traits as well as, more recently, in low heritability traits like health and fertility. Here we review a number of technologies that have helped shape dairy breeding programs in the past and present, along with those potentially forthcoming.
The objective of this study was to predict dairy cows' body weight from body size measurements. Body weight is an important trait for both management and breeding. Data were derived from 167 commercial Austrian dairy farms. To ensure high prediction accuracy, the use of a combination of both heart girth and belly girth is recommended if the use of scales is impossible. The large and heterogeneous data set supported a valid prediction.
In this invited review we discuss the value of mice in improving livestock breeding. This review gives an overview of currently available databases for mice that can be used in livestock genetics research. Furthermore, this paper describes how different mouse models have contributed to livestock research in the past.
This research was conducted to establish whether flooring systems, i.e., plastic, could be good alternatives to deep litter. What we have found is that in terms of some animal welfare parameters, such as footpad dermatitis and hock joint dermatitis, slatted floor housing can be a good alternative. However, as the birds get heavier, some other welfare problems occur, such as lesions on the breast and shoulder.
The coat colour of animals is an extremely important trait that affects their behaviour and is decisive for survival in the natural environment. The trait serves to distinguish between breeds and varieties. Coat colour is also an important economic trait. Understanding the genetic background of variation in one of the most important phenotypic traits in livestock would help to identify new genes that have a great effect on the coat colour type.
For scientific discussions it is necessary to clearly define the terms used; otherwise, scientific statements are open to interpretation which hampers the scientific progress. A clear specification of scientific terms can be reached via mathematical definitions. In this paper, four mathematical definitions of the term "breed" for gonochoric species are proposed. Although all proposed definitions are consistent with common word-based definitions, the result of the whippet test differs.
In recent years, there has been a current trend in the pork market to create products based on traditional specialities, where technology such as drying, smoking and fermentation of products is used. For this reason the aim of study was to compare the genotypes from Slovakia and Poland. Genotypes from Poland are more suitable than those from Slovakia for the breeding and production of special meat products due to acceptable fattening and carcass parameters as well as the meat quality.
Herbs and herbal feed additives are a valuable component in broiler chicken diets, affecting, e.g., health status, productivity and meat quality. In our study a herbal formula was applied in broiler chickens fed lower energy concentration diets. An interaction between experimental factors was not found, although a gainful effect on the productivity was noticed in broiler chickens fed diets with a herbal formula.
In order to identify potential variances in gene expression of phenotypically different pig breeds, six fat-metabolism-related genes were analyzed in backfat and muscle tissues of fat-type Mangalica, Mangalica × Duroc, and lean-type Hungarian Large White and Pietrain × Duroc pigs by means of quantitative reverse transcription PCR. The identified expression differences can improve our understanding of the genetic background behind the characteristic fatty phenotype of Mangalica.
In this study, a novel 12 bp indel within the LHX4 gene first intron was firstly found. Meanwhile, the association analysis indicated that the 12 bp indel was significantly associated with litter size in 1149 Shaanbei cashmere goats (P < 0.05). The litter sizes of genotype DD and ID individuals were superior to those of genotype II, implying that the 12 bp indel might affect litter size. These results could provide a new insight into implementing marker-assisted selection in goat breeding.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the glycogen synthase 1 (GYS1) mutation on performance traits in Noriker draft horse stallions. Individual scores of 32 performance traits were obtained from 169 stallions that took part in the 30-day performance test. The traits were analyzed using a linear model including the GYS1 mutation genotype, the testing year, and age as fixed effects. For the final performance score and 29 traits, no effect of the GYS1 mutation could be found.
Fatty acid composition in the intramuscular fat of the musculus longissimus dorsi of Ile de France purebred lambs in two production systems (lambs and ewes were assigned to pasture and fed without concentrates vs. lambs and ewes were assigned to a stable and fed with hay/silage and concentrates) was evaluated using gas chromatography. An analysis of variance was used for comparison. No such comparison had previously been carried out in Slovakia. Meat from lambs assigned to pasture was better.
Developmental changes in testicular parameters and their association with plasma triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and testosterone in male Murrah buffaloes were determined. Plasma T4 and testosterone increased significantly with age. Plasma T4 levels were positively correlated with testicular parameters and plasma testosterone, whereas plasma T3 was not associated with either. This study demonstrated the developmental and steroidogenic effects of thyroid hormones on the testis.
Wet brewers grain (WBG) is successfully used in animal nutrition, especially in ruminants. The low cost of this fodder also has a positive impact on the economics of production. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the addition of WBG to lamb feed on growth, slaughter value and meat quality. Lambs fed WBG were characterized by higher daily gains and better meat quality. The results indicate that WBG could be used in slaughter lamb production as a source of cheap fodder.
Birth of twins is partly controlled by genetic factors. Here, we genotyped ewes with triplet births, twin births, and single births as well as two infertile ewes from Iranian sheep breeds for the BMP15 gene. A new mutation was detected in two sterile ewes and all ewes with triplet-birth lambing. There is a relationship between the mutation and higher litter numbers. However, this mutation is not responsible for sterility or triplet births in Iranian sheep.
Substitution of amino acids due to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in pattern recognition receptors leads to altered innate immunity to diseases. The present study shows extensive polymorphisms in coding sequences of TLR (TLR3, TLR1LA) and NLR (NOD1) genes compared to the RLR (MDA5, LGP2) gene. SNPs were higher in Indian chicken breeds (Ghagus and Nicobari) compared to the WLH breed. A computer simulation study revealed a neutral effect of most non-synonymous SNPs on protein function.
Heat stress (HS) and high stocking density (HSD) can lower blood homeostasis and negatively influence the behavioral traits of animals. The objective of this study was to explore the influence of different stocking densities on the behavioral traits, blood parameters, immune responses, and stress hormones of meat ducks (Cherry valley, Anas platyrhynchos) exposed to HS. It was found that HS and HSD conditions negatively affected the behavioral traits and blood parameters of the animals.
The meta-analysis demonstrated that the relationships of major milk protein genes with other factors should be examined using the codominant genetic model in general. According to results of the meta-analysis, relationships among some CSN3 genotypes and fat yield, fat content, and protein content, and relationships among some BLG genotypes and daily milk yield, fat content, protein yield, and protein content were found statistically significant (p < 0.05).
Our study aimed to evaluate the effect of total substitution of soybean meal and corn with triticale and faba bean or field pea on rumen fermentation, protozoa counts, and gas production of lactating ewes. According to the present results, this substitution might maintain rumen parameters of dairy ewes.
In this study we analysed the genetic contribution of the Arabian horse to the Lipizzan gene pool and its association with the overall type via shape regression analysis in 158 Lipizzan horses from the Austrian stud farm of Piber. Although crossbreeding with Arabian horses took place more than 100 years ago, we found a significant association of Lipizzan body shape (p < 0.003) with individual coefficients of Arabian gene proportion.
An extensive genetic evaluation of cattle fattening performance was performed in this study. Fifteen SNPs in the LEP, FABP4, DGAT1, TG, IGF1, IGF1R, MYF5, LGB, CAPN1, CAST, GHR, and OLR1 genes were evaluated in 296 purebred Holstein–Friesian bulls using PCR-RFLP. This study clearly demonstrated that individual or combined effects of the genotypes at the selected genes may be effective on performance traits at different periods of animal growth and fattening.
This study was conducted to determine inner egg quality characteristics using external egg quality characteristics and to select variables in order to obtain the simplest model using ridge, LASSO and elastic net. The goodness of fit values of the regression estimating equations for egg yolk weight were 58.34 %, 59.17 % and 59.11 % using the ridge, LASSO and elastic net methods, respectively; for egg albumen weight they were 75.60 % for ridge, 75.94 % for LASSO and 75.81 % for elastic net.
The impact of the milking technique on the individual animal and the reaction of the animal on the technique were investigated. With the use of objectively recorded data from automatic milking systems (AMSs), auxiliary traits that reflect animal behavior in the milking system were defined, free from subjective impressions of classifiers. There is an apparent possibility to breed cows for AMS systems based on AMS data, though it is imperative to have further validation based on larger datasets.
This study assessed the effects of training on haematological and biochemical blood parameters and body surface temperature changes in horses. Changes in body surface temperature and blood parameters in routinely ridden and never-ridden horses are associated with their different conditioning. Significantly higher surface temperature in routinely ridden horses as well as the dynamics of changes in some blood parameters after training may indicate the better performance of these horses.
Milk coagulation properties and major mineral contents in Pinzgauer dual-purpose cattle breed were characterized. The dataset consisted of 7763 milk observations from 851 cows reared in 60 herds in the Alpine area of Bolzano province (Italy). Our results showed that Pinzgauer breed produced milk with better coagulation properties and mineral content, from a technological point of view, in first than later parities and in early than late lactation.
The aim of this study was to perform a multivariate analysis of lambs' birth weight, survivability traits, growth performance traits, and other defined factors. The study focused on one flock of Suffolk sheep kept under permanent pasture management. Overall 1012 lambs were investigated over 3 years. The results of the study detected lambs' optimal birth weight for this management system. This study also suggested practical implications of important factors when improving flock profitability.
The results of this study indicate that the feeding system (concentrate vs. pasture) affected meat quality and fatty acid composition in lambs. Both rearing systems have advantages and disadvantages. Feeding with concentrate rations led to a better fattening performance and meat quality, whereas omega-3 content was high in pasture-reared lambs. Further research is necessary to explore the optimum combination of these feeding systems.
The main aim of this pilot study was to test eye temperature (ET) as a noninvasive tool to explore stress levels associated with a semi-intensive farming system in Blanca Serrana meat goats, developing a stress test simulating routine practices. They showed a statistically significant increase in the ET and respiratory rate stress parameters after the stressful stimulus was introduced, but not of the heart rate. ET appears as an appropriate and noninvasive tool to explore stress levels in goats.
The occurrence of copy number variations (CNVs) has been confirmed on the Y
chromosome in horses. However, the copy numbers (CNs) of Equus caballus Y
chromosome (ECAY) genes are largely unknown. This study aimed to demonstrate the copy number variations of Y chromosome genes in horses. Therefore, the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method was applied to measure the CNVs of eight Y chromosome specific genes from 14 different Chinese horse breeds.
Analysis of the genomic variation within a breed is an essential requirement for keeping the breed’s integrity and for defining proper breeding objectives. This research aimed to analyze the genomic structure of Iranian Zandi sheep and showed that a more dense marker is required to achieve genetic gain in Zandi sheep using genomic selection. Attention should be given to adopting an optimal mating system in order to avoid the further loss of genetic diversity in this breed.
Elsayed O. S. Hussein, Gamaleldin M. Suliman, Alaeldein M. Abudabos, Abdullah N. Alowaimer, Shamseldein H. Ahmed, Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack, Mahmoud Alagawany, Ayman A. Swelum, Antonella Tinelli, Vincenzo Tufarelli, and Vito Laudadio
This study evaluated the impact of a low metabolizable energy diet supplemented with a multienzyme blend on the growth performance, carcass traits and meat quality of chickens. From findings, the low metabolizable energy supplemented with the enzyme complex did not influence most of performance parameters and carcass traits of chickens; however, adding enzymes to a low-energy diet is an effective strategy to improve the meat quality criteria and small intestine characteristics.
In sheep production, the body condition scores and parities are important environmental factors affecting lamb yield. Extreme body condition scores (fattening state) lead to negative effects on lamb yield. In the present study, it was revealed that ewes with medium and fat body condition scores (BCS: 2.5–4.0) were profitable. It was shown that the body condition score had minimal effects on the birth weights of lambs, and the incidence of dystocia was increased in thin and very fat ewes.
In our study, we attempted to introduce a new device for optimizing sperm-mediated gene transfer. We utilized X-tremeGENE™ HP reagent from the Roche company in bovines, and one-third of total spermatozoa were transfected. We also examined the effect of DMSO on increasing the efficiency of the sperm/DNA transfer to oocytes via IVF. We examined these two reagents in bovine spermatozoa for the first time, which can be considered as the novelty of our work together with its originality.
The study was carried out to investigate the effects of Camelina and hempseed cakes in the diets of ducks on the intramuscular fatty acid profile. Our study showed that supplementing Camelina cake in duck diets makes it possible to develop functional food, i.e. meat with a significantly higher content of ALA, total n-3 PUFA and the lowest ratios of n-6 / n-3 fatty acids in muscles. Duck diet with hempseed cake produces exceptional quality meat with an enriched content of n-6 GLA.