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Genomic evaluation, breed identification, and discovery of a haplotype affecting fertility for Ayrshire dairy cattle

T.A. Cooper, G.R. Wiggans, D.J. Null, J.L. Hutchison, J.B. Cole
Journal of dairy science 2014 v.97 no.6 pp. 3878-3882
Ayrshire (cattle breed), Brown Swiss, Holstein, body conformation, bulls, chromosomes, conception rate, dairy cattle, databases, haplotypes, milk protein yield, single nucleotide polymorphism, sires, United States
Genomic evaluations of dairy cattle in the United States have been available for Brown Swiss, Holsteins, and Jerseys since 2009. As of January 2013, 1,023 Ayrshires had genotypes in the North American database. Evaluation accuracy was assessed using genomic evaluations based on 646 bulls with 2008 traditional evaluations to predict daughter performance of up to 180 bulls in 2012. Mean gain in reliability over parent average for all traits was 8.2 percentage points. The highest gains were for protein yield (16.9 percentage points), milk yield (16.6 percentage points), and stature (16.2 percentage points). Twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms were useful for Ayrshire breed determination. Fewer breed-determining SNP were available for Ayrshires than for Holsteins, Jerseys, and Brown Swiss because of the similarity of Ayrshires and Holsteins. A haplotype that affects fertility was identified on chromosome 17 and traces back in the genotyped population to the bull Selwood Betty’s Commander (born in 1953). The haplotype carrier frequency for genotyped Ayrshires was 26.1%. Sire conception rate was decreased by 4.3±2.5 percentage points for carriers of the haplotype as determined by 618 matings of carrier sire by carrier maternal grandsire. Genomic evaluations for Ayrshires were officially implemented in the United States in April 2013.