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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Multiple-trait multiple-country genetic evaluation of Holstein bulls for female fertility and milk production traits

Nilforooshan, Mohammad; Halkjer Jakobsen, Jette; Fikse, Freddy; Berglund, Britt; Jorjani, Hossein

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of including milk yield data in the international genetic evaluation of female fertility traits to reduce or eliminate a possible bias because of across-country selection for milk yield. Data included two female fertility traits from Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands, together with milk yield data from the same countries and from the United States, because the genetic trends in other countries may be influenced by selection decisions on bulls in the United States. Potentially, female fertility data had been corrected nationally for within-country selection and management biases for milk yield. Using a multiple-trait multiple across-country evaluation (MT-MACE) for the analysis of female fertility traits with milk yield, acrosscountry selection patterns both for female fertility and milk yield can be considered simultaneously. Four analyses were performed; one single-trait multiple across-country evaluation analysis including only milk yield data, one MT-MACE analysis including only female fertility traits, and one MT-MACE analysis including both female fertility and milk yield traits. An additional MT-MACE analysis was performed including both female fertility and milk yield traits, but excluding the United States. By including milk yield traits to the analysis, female fertility reliabilities increased, but not for all bulls in all the countries by trait combinations. The presence of milk yield traits in the analysis did not considerably change the genetic correlations, genetic trends or bull rankings of female fertility traits. Even though the predicted genetic merits of female fertility traits hardly changed by including milk yield traits to the analysis, the change was not equally distributed to the whole data. The number of bulls in common between the two sets of Top 100 bulls for each trait in the two analyses of female fertility traits, with and without the four milk yield traits and their rank correlations were low, not necessarily because of the absence of the US milk yield data. The joint international genetic evaluation of female fertility traits with milk yield is recommended to make use of information on several female fertility traits from different countries simultaneously, to consider selection decisions for milk yield in the genetic evaluation of female fertility traits for obtaining more accurate estimating breeding values (EBV) and to acquire female fertility EBV for bulls evaluated for milk yield, but not for female fertility.

Keywords

female fertility; milk yield; genetic trend; bias; dairy cattle

Published in

Animal
2014, volume: 8, number: 6, pages: 887-894
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Authors' information

Nilforooshan, Mohammad (Nilforooshan, Mohammad)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Halkjer Jakobsen, Jette
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics

UKÄ Subject classification

Genetics and Breeding

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731114000895

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/56452