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Estimation of genetic parameters for individual udder quarter milk content traits in Brown Swiss cattle

Kramer, M.; Erbe, M.; Bapst, B.; Bieber, A. and Simianer, H. (2013) Estimation of genetic parameters for individual udder quarter milk content traits in Brown Swiss cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 96 (9), pp. 5965-5976.

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Document available online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022030213005225


The aim of this study was to estimate genetic parameters and accuracies of breeding values for milk content traits of individual udder quarters in Brown Swiss cattle. Data of 1,799 phenotyped cows from 40 Swiss dairy herds were analyzed, taking the complete pedigree into account. Fat, protein, lactose, and urea contents, somatic cell score (SCS), and information about hyperkeratosis were available for each udder quarter. The milk of rear udder quarters was found to have significantly higher lactose content and significantly lower fat content than milk of the front udder quarters. The same trend found for fat content was observed for protein content, whereas no differences between the udder quarters were observed for urea content, SCS, or hyperkeratosis. Heritabilities for each udder quarter were in the following ranges: fat content 0.09 ± 0.06 to 0.14 ± 0.06, protein content 0.20 ± 0.09 to 0.33 ± 0.07, lactose content 0.04 ± 0.03 to 0.16 ± 0.07, urea content 0.13 ± 0.07 to 0.22 ± 0.08, SCS 0.18 ± 0.06 to 0.32 ± 0.07, and hyperkeratosis 0.12 ± 0.04 to 0.26 ± 0.05. In our study, hyperkeratosis, protein content, and SCS showed higher heritabilities in the front udder quarters, fat content had higher heritabilities in the rear udder quarters, and no systematic pattern in heritability was observed for lactose content or urea content. Additive genetic correlations between all udder quarters were >0.90 for protein and urea contents, whereas they were remarkably low (<0.60) for SCS. For fat and lactose contents, the genetic correlations between the 2 front or between the 2 rear quarters, respectively, were notably higher than correlations between 1 front and 1 rear quarter, suggesting that the front and the rear udders could be considered as partly genetically different organs. The variability within the udder as such was found to be of low heritability (<0.10) in general, but repeatability was moderate to high for some traits (lactose content: 0.33 ± 0.05, protein content: 0.53 ± 0.05). Some of these findings can be explained by differences in the physiological background of the traits.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:genetic parameter, accuracy of breeding value, individual udder quarter milk content, within-udder variability, LowInputBreeds, Department of Livestock Sciences, Livestock Breeding, FiBL45009
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Breeding and genetics
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal welfare & housing
European Union > LowInputBreeds > SP 1: Dairy and meat cattle
H2020 or FP7 Grant Agreement Number:222623
DOI:dx.doi.org/ 10.3168/jds.2013-7188
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/projectdatabase/projectitem/project/160.html
Deposited By: Bieber, Anna
ID Code:25079
Deposited On:30 May 2018 07:56
Last Modified:28 Jul 2021 14:18
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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