Symposium review: The choice and collection of new relevant phenotypes for fertility selection

Fleming, A.; Baes, C. F.; Martin, A.A.A.; Chud, T.C.S.; Malchiodi, F.; Brito, L.; Miglior, F. (2019). Symposium review: The choice and collection of new relevant phenotypes for fertility selection. Journal of dairy science, 102(4), pp. 3722-3734. Elsevier 10.3168/jds.2018-15470

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In dairy production, high fertility contributes to herd profitability by achieving greater production and maintaining short calving intervals. Improved management practices and genetic selection have contributed to reversing negative trends in dairy cow fertility, but further progress is still required. Phenotypes included in current genetic evaluations are largely interval and binary traits calculated from insemination and calving date records. Several indicator traits such as calving, health, variation in body condition score, and longevity traits also apply to genetic improvement of fertility. Several fertility traits are included in the selection indices of many countries, but for improved selection, the development of novel phenotypes that more closely describe the physiology of reproduction and limit management bias could be more effective. Progesterone-based phenotypes can be determined from milk samples to describe the heritable interval from calving to corpus luteum activity, as well as additional measures of cow cyclicity. A fundamental component of artificial insemination practices is the observation of estrus. Novel phenotypes collected on estrous activity could be used to select for cows clearly displaying heat, as those cows are more likely to be inseminated at the right time and therefore have greater fertility performance. On-farm technologies, including in-line milk testing and activity monitors, may allow for phenotyping novel traits on large numbers of animals. Additionally, selection for improved fertility using traditional traits could benefit from refined and accurate recording and implementation of parameters such as pregnancy confirmation and reproductive management strategy, to differentiate embryonic or fetal loss, and to ensure selection for reproductive capability without producer intervention. Opportunities exist to achieve genetic improvement of reproductive efficiency in cattle using novel phenotypes, which is required for long-term sustainability of the dairy cattle population and industry.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Baes, Christine Francoise

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0022-0302

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christine Francoise Baes

Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2019 09:36

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 09:45

Publisher DOI:

10.3168/jds.2018-15470

PubMed ID:

30712934

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.134000

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/134000

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