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Cassandro M.,University of Padua | Battagin M.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Frisona Italiana | Penasa M.,University of Padua | De Marchi M.,University of Padua
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2015

Milk coagulation properties (MCP) are gaining popularity among dairy cattle producers and the improvement of traits associated with MCP is expected to result in a benefit for the dairy industry, especially in countries with a long tradition in cheese production. The objectives of this study were to estimate genetic correlations of MCP with body condition score (BCS) and type traits using data from first-parity Italian Holstein-Friesian cattle. The data analyzed consisted of 18,460 MCP records from 4,036 cows with information on both BCS and conformation traits. The cows were daughters of 246 sires and the pedigree file included a total of 37,559 animals. Genetic relationships of MCP with BCS and type traits were estimated using bivariate animal models. The model for MCP included fixed effects of stage of lactation, and random effects of herd-test-date, cow permanent environment, additive genetic animal, and residual. Fixed factors considered in the model for BCS and type traits were herd-date of evaluation and interaction between age at scoring and stage of lactation of the cow, and random terms were additive genetic animal, cow permanent environment, and residual. Genetic relationships between MCP and BCS, and MCP and type traits were generally low and significant only in a few cases, suggesting that MCP can be selected for without detrimental effects on BCS and linear type traits. © 2015 American Dairy Science Association.

Battagin M.,University of Padua | Sartori C.,University of Padua | Biffani S.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Frisona Italiana | Biffani S.,CNR Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

The objectives of this research were to estimate genetic parameters for body condition score (BCS) and locomotion (LOC), and to assess their relationships with angularity (ANG), milk yield, fat and protein content, and fat to protein content ratio (F:P) in the Italian Holstein Friesian breed. The Italian Holstein Friesian Cattle Breeders Association collects type trait data once on all registered first lactation cows. Body condition score and LOC were introduced in the conformation scoring system in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Variance (and covariance) components among traits were estimated with a Bayesian approach via a Gibbs sampling algorithm and an animal model. Heritability estimates were 0.114 and 0.049 for BCS and LOC, respectively. The genetic correlation between BCS and LOC was weak (-0.084) and not different from zero; therefore, the traits seem to be genetically independent, but further investigation on possible departures from linearity of this relationship is needed. Angularity was strongly negatively correlated with BCS (-0.612), and strongly positively correlated with LOC (0.650). The genetic relationship of milk yield with BCS was moderately negative (-0.386), and was moderately positive (0.238) with LOC. These results indicate that high-producing cows tend to be thinner and tend to have better locomotion than low-producing cows. The genetic correlation of BCS with fat content (0.094) and F:P (-0.014) was very weak and not different from zero, and with protein content (0.173) was weak but different from zero. Locomotion was weakly correlated with fat content (0.071), protein content (0.028), and F:P (0.074), and correlations were not different from zero. Phenotypic correlations were generally weaker than their genetic counterparts, ranging from -0.241 (BCS with ANG) to 0.245 (LOC with ANG). Before including BCS and LOC in the selection index of the Italian Holstein breed, the correlations with other traits currently used to improve type and functionality of animals need to be investigated. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Samore A.B.,University of Milan | Canavesi F.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Frisona Italiana | Rossoni A.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Razza Bruna | Bagnato A.,University of Milan
Italian Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2012

Over 2,000,000 records of casein contents were collected from herds of Brown Swiss (BS) and Italian Holstein Friesian (HF) dairy cows in northern Italy during routine milk recording. Variance components for casein and genetic correlations of casein with production and type traits considered in selection were estimated from a sample of 200,484 test day records for 26,279 BS cows and 376,652 for 41,543 HF cows. A multivariate multi-model REML estimation of variance components was made. Models for production included the fixed effects for herd-test day, year of evaluation, days in milk, month of calving and age at calving within parity. Models for type traits were defined accordingly to the model officially used for each breed for breeding value estimation. Breeding values for casein yield and content were calculated from estimated heritabilities (Brown 0.12; Holstein 0.09). Estimates were similar for protein and casein yield and content while genetic correlations with traits in the actual selection indexes differed between breeds. These differences, together with the greater emphasis now given to protein in the selection index of the Brown Swiss than in the Italian Holstein Friesian, suggest that a direct selection for casein could be more advantageous in Brown than in Holstein cows. The Brown breeders association could soon include casein yield and content directly in their selection criteria while that of Holstein cows would wait for a longer term casein data collection. © A.B. Samoré et al., 2012.

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