Croatian Agricultural Agency

Zagreb, Croatia

Croatian Agricultural Agency

Zagreb, Croatia
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Spehar M.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Lucic M.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Stepec M.,University of Ljubljana | Ivkic Z.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | And 2 more authors.
Mljekarstvo | Year: 2017

Milking speed (MS) has a growing importance from a dairy management standpoint. Cows with slow MS require more labour, while cows with fast MS could be in greater risk for udder diseases. Although MS is considered as a trait of importance, little attention has been given to estimate genetic components for MS and its relationship with other traits. The objectives of this study were: 1) to estimate genetic parameters for MS in Croatian Holstein cattle; 2) to use them for the prediction of breeding values; and 3) to estimate proof correlations of MS with production and conformation traits in order to understand the interrelationships among traits. Data included 129,723 test-day records for 35,908 first calving cows taken from the central database of the Croatian Agricultural Agency. Pedigree file consisted of 85,605 animals. In order to improve the normality, logarithmic transformation for MS was used. Variance components where estimated by REML method using VCE-6 program. Statistical model included calving season, milking time, and milk yield class as fixed class effects, while age at first calving and days in milk were fitted as covariates. Random effects were: common herd-test day, permanent environmental and direct additive genetic effect. Common herdtest day and permanent environmental effect accounted 27 % and 15 % of variability. Direct additive genetic effect explained another 14 % of phenotypic variation for MS. Analysis of proof correlations between bulls and cows BV for MS with production and conformation traits showed low to mediate relationships. Most of these proof correlations were positive with an exception of teats length. Genetic evaluation for MS provide useful tool for breeding decisions due to moderate heritability of MS and the trait should be included in the total merit index in the future. In order to determine the appropriate economic weights for MS in the overall index, genetic correlations among MS and production and conformation traits should be estimated. © 2017, Hrvatska Mljekarska Udruga. All rights reserved.


Buchler R.,Bee Institute | Costa C.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Andonov S.,Faculty for Agricultural Science and Food | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

The survival and performance of 597 honey bee colonies, representing five subspecies and 16 different genotypes, were comparatively studied in 20 apiaries across Europe. Started in October 2009, 15.7% of the colonies survived without any therapeutic treatment against diseases until spring 2012. The survival duration was strongly affected by environmental factors (apiary effects) and, to a lesser degree, by the genotypes and origin of queens. Varroa was identified as a main cause of losses (38.4%), followed by queen problems (16.9%) and Nosema infection (7.3%). On average, colonies with queens from local origin survived 83 days longer compared to non-local origins (p < 0.001). This result demonstrates strong genotype by environment interactions. Consequently, the conservation of bee diversity and the support of local breeding activities must be prioritised in order to prevent colony losses, to optimize a sustainable productivity and to enable a continuous adaptation to environmental changes. © IBRA 2014.


Van Der Zee R.,Netherlands Center for Bee Research | Brodschneider R.,University of Graz | Brusbardis V.,Latvian Beekeepers Association | Charriere J.-D.,Swiss Bee Research Center | And 17 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

This article presents results of an analysis of winter losses of honey bee colonies from 19 mainly European countries, most of which implemented the standardised 2013 COLOSS questionnaire. Generalised linear mixed effects models (GLMMs) were used to investigate the effects of several factors on the risk of colony loss, including different treatments for Varroa destructor, allowing for random effects of beekeeper and region. Both winter and summer treatments were considered, and the most common combinations of treatment and timing were used to define treatment factor levels. Overall and within country colony loss rates are presented. Significant factors in the model were found to be: percentage of young queens in the colonies before winter, extent of queen problems in summer, treatment of the varroa mite, and access by foraging honey bees to oilseed rape and maize. Spatial variation at the beekeeper level is shown across geographical regions using random effects from the fitted models, both before and after allowing for the effect of the significant terms in the model. This spatial variation is considerable. © IBRA 2014.


Spehar M.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Stepec M.,University of Ljubljana | Potocnik K.,University of Ljubljana
Acta Agriculturae Slovenica | Year: 2012

The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for 39 (26 official and 13 new) scored type traits in Slovenian Brown Swiss cattle. Data set included records of 35 386 Brown Swiss cows scored from 2000 to 2011 using method 'System 97'. The studied type traits were scored on scale from 1 to 9 (29 traits), measured by stick or tape (five traits) or expressed in points from 60 to 90 (five traits). Multiple-trait analyses based on three models were used for estimates of genetic parameters. Fixed class effects in the models were: classifier and year of scoring interaction, calving season, and time from calving to scoring. Body condition score effect was additionally fitted as linear regression in the second model. The third model included time after milking as fixed class effect instead of condition. Direct additive genetic effect and herd were used in the models as random effects. Estimated heritabilities ranged from 0.13 to 0.46 for frame and from 0.03 to 0.22 for form traits. Low to intermediate heritabilities (from 0.10 to 0.25) were estimated for mammary system traits. The lowest heritability estimates, in range from 0.04 to 0.13, were obtained for foot and leg traits. The variance ratio for herd covered between 0.02 and 0.26 of phenotypic variation. Genetic correlations among type traits ranged from -0.41 between rear legs side view and legs overall to 0.99 between rump height measured by tape and rump height linearly scored for frame traits. High genetic correlations were estimated for the following pairs of traits: rump width measured and rump width linearly scored (0.92), central ligament and central ligament redefined (0.97), body depth measured and body depth linearly scored (0.86). Phenotypic correlations between pairs of traits were similar in direction but smaller in magnitude in comparison to genetic correlations. Measured type traits should be replaced with the scored one since genetic correlations between them were high. The replacement will lead to the same efficient but cheaper scoring system.


Spehar M.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Spehar M.,University of Ljubljana | Potocnik K.,University of Ljubljana | Gorjanc G.,University of Ljubljana
Livestock Science | Year: 2013

Use of genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data enables accurate estimates of breeding value (EBV) for young animals when a sufficiently large number of animals in a population are genotyped. The objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of integrating genomic data into the national evaluation system for milk traits in a small population of Slovenian Brown bulls using univariate national evaluation based on phenotype and pedigree data (U), international direct genomic value (DGV), and bivariate national evaluation incorporating DGV as a correlated trait (B). Comparison of approaches was assessed separately for training and validation subset of bulls using theoretical and empirical accuracy. Genetic correlation between the phenotype based EBV and DGV was between 0.79 and 0.86 confirming the utility of DGV for prediction. Use of DGV did not improve already high accuracy (0.98) for proven bulls due to the substantial number of daughters per bull. In young bulls, inclusion of DGV in B analysis has increased theoretical accuracy of prediction from 0.58 to 0.89 and further from 0.92 to 0.96 when these bulls were progeny tested. Empirical correlations on the validation subset confirmed the observed increases in theoretical accuracy although values were considerably lower due to the low and variable number of daughters per bull in the validation subset. When combining both progeny and DGV data, correlation between the U and B evaluation was 0.92 in validation subset confirming the usefulness of integrating both data sources. Integration of all the available information is not only beneficial for the use of all the data, but also to simplify publication since all information can be combined in a single breeding value. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Drazic M.M.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Filipi J.,Polytechnic of Applied science Marko Maruli | Prdun S.,University of Zagreb | Bubalo D.,University of Zagreb | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

The objective of this study was to compare the colony development cycle (unsealed and sealed worker brood, drone brood, pollen and colony strength) of two Apis mellifera carnica subpopulations in two distinct environments (alpine and continental). At each test location were two sub groups of 12 colonies headed by naturally mated sister queens from either the Institute of Apiculture Lunz am See, Austria (AT) or from the Faculty of Agriculture University of Zagreb, Croatia (HR). Colony development was monitored every 14 days. The HR genotype, adapted to a continental climate, had faster spring brood development in both environments. During spring and early summer the AT genotype maintained the number of sealed brood cells at a constant level in the more favourable conditions, although the amount of unsealed brood reached its maximum in early June. The environment influenced colony development, food stores and colony strength. Interaction between genotype and environment did not affect the number of unsealed brood cells, but the difference was statistically significant for the number of sealed brood cells. The study indicated the presence of a number of genotype and environment interactions between the two honey bee genotypes and their colony traits. © IBRA 2014.


Smetko A.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Smetko A.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Soudre A.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Soudre A.,University of Koudougou | And 12 more authors.
Frontiers in Genetics | Year: 2015

Trypanosomosis is a serious cause of reduction in productivity of cattle in tsetse-fly infested areas. Baoule and other local Taurine cattle breeds in Burkina Faso are trypanotolerant. Zebuine cattle, which are also kept there are susceptible to trypanosomosis but bigger in body size. Farmers have continuously been intercrossing Baoule and Zebu animals to increase production and disease tolerance. The aim of this study was to compare levels of zebuine and taurine admixture in genomic regions potentially involved in trypanotolerance with background admixture of composites to identify differences in allelic frequencies of tolerant and non tolerant animals. The study was conducted on 214 animals (90 Baoule, 90 Zebu and 34 composites), genotyped with 25 microsatellites across the genome and with 155 SNPs in 23 candidate regions. Degrees of admixture of composites were analyzed for microsatellite and SNP data separately. Average Baoule admixture based on microsatellites across the genomes of the Baoule-Zebu composites was 0.31, which was smaller than the average Baoule admixture in the trypanosomosis candidate regions of 0.37 (P=0.15). Fixation index FST measured in the overall genome based on microsatellites or with SNPs from candidate regions indicates strongdifferentiation between breeds. Nine out of 23 regions had FST ≥ 0.20 calculated from haplotypes or individual SNPs. The levels of admixture were significantly different from background admixture, as revealed by microsatellite data, for six out of the nine regions. Five out of the six regions showed an excess of Baoule ancestry. Information about best levels of breed composition would be useful for future breeding ctivities, aiming at trypanotolerant animals with higher productive capacity. © 2015 Smetko, Soudre, Silbermayr, Mueller, Brem, Hanotte, Boettcher, Stella, Mészáros, Wurzinger, Curik, Mueller, Burgstaller and Sölkner.


Ivkic Z.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Spehar M.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Bulic V.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Mijic P.,Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek | And 2 more authors.
Mljekarstvo | Year: 2012

The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters and environmental effects on somatic cell count in Croatian dairy cows. Data consisted of 861,417 test-day records for Simmental and 656,272 for Holstein cows. For Simmental breed, number of animals in pedigree was 123,199, while pedigree file for Holstein breed included 94,294 animals. A single-trait repeatability fixed regression test-day model was used to estimate genetic parameters. Fixed effects in the model were parity and calving season. Days in milk was fitted using Ali-Schaeffer lactation curve nested within parity. Age at first calving was modelled as quadratic regression. Direct additive genetic effect, herd, herd-test-date, and permanent environmental effect of cow within parity were included in the model as random effects. Variance components were estimated using Restricted Maximum Likelihood method as implemented in the VCE-6 program. Estimated heritabilities were 0.21 for Simmental and 0.15 for the Holstein breed. Permanent environmental effect explained 19 % of phenotypic variation in Simmental and 20 % in Holstein breed. Herd and herd-test-date accounted for another 9 % and 5 % of variability for Simmental breed. The effects of herd and herd-test-date explained 10 % and 5 % of phenotypic variance in Holstein breed.


Plisko M.,Creska 16 | Prpic Z.,University of Zagreb | Mioc B.,University of Zagreb | Jurkovic D.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | Vnucec I.,University of Zagreb
Journal of Central European Agriculture | Year: 2016

Istrian sheep has the highest milk yield among indigenous Croatian sheep breeds though originally belongs to a group of sheep of combined production traits. Since milk of Istrian sheep is traditionally processed into cheese and that processing possibilities of milk, among other things, are defined by its chemical composition and hygienic quality, the aim of this study was to determine the influence of some environmental factors (year, parity, stage of lactation, season (month) of lambing) on daily and lactation milk yield, lactation length, milk chemical composition and the somatic cell count (SCC) in the milk of Istrian ewes. A total of 83 purebred, dairy Istrian sheep, during three consecutive lactations (from 2012 to 2014), were involved in this research. Due to conditions of feeding, care and housing, all ewes were kept in identical (semi-intensive) farming conditions throughout the whole study period. During milking period of lactation regular milking controls were carried out (AT method) and, on these occasions, individual milk samples for chemical composition analysis and determination of somatic cell count were taken. During average lactation length of 206 days Istrian ewes produced on average 190.77 kg of milk, or1.1 kg of milk per day. Milk of Istrian ewes on average contained 6.81% fat, 5.90% protein, 4.32% lactose, 18.08% total solids and 11.31% non-fat solids. The geometric mean of SCC was 316*103*mL-1 of milk (log 5.50±0.02). A significant (P < 0.001) effect of the year is determined on the milk yield and the lactation length, as well as the chemical composition of milk (with the exception of protein) and SCC. Ewes in the fourth lactation achieved the highest average daily (P < 0.001) and lactation milk yield (P < 0.05), while the first-lambing ewes produced milk with the highest content of total solids, milk fat and proteins. Stage of lactation significantly (P < 0.001) affected the daily milk yield, milk chemical composition, as well as the somatic cell count in ewe’s milk. Ewes born in December produced significantly (P < 0.001) more milk than ewes born in January and February. There was a negative correlation between SCC (log10) and daily milk yield (P < 0.001), while the SCC (log10) was positively correlated (P < 0.001) with the contents of total solids, milk fat and proteins. © 2016, University of Zagreb - Faculty of Agriculture. All rights reserved.


Bendelja D.,University of Zagreb | Prpic Z.,University of Zagreb | Mikulec N.,University of Zagreb | Ivkic Z.,Croatian Agricultural Agency | And 2 more authors.
Mljekarstvo | Year: 2011

Determining the urea concentration in milk is a useful indicator of the nutritional protein status of the organism as well as of the ratio between the energy and the protein in ruminant rations, with increasing practical usage. In addition to nutrition, milk urea concentration is influenced by a whole range of factors, for example: breed, stage and number of lactations, body weight, daily production and chemical composition of milk, somatic cell count, season and milking. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of the cow breed (Holstein and Simmental), the number of lactation (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th), milking time (morning-evening) and season (spring-summer and autumn-winter) on milk urea concentration. The following was determined for each breed: daily milk yield, milk fat, protein and lactose content, urea concentration and somatic cell count in milk. Statistical data processing was carried out by applying General Linear Model procedure, SAS system (1999). The cow breed had a significant influence on daily milk yield and log somatic cell count (P<0.001), lactose content in milk (P<0.01), milk fat content and milk urea concentration (P<0.05). The number of lactations significantly influenced daily milk yield (P<0.001), protein content (P<0.001 and P<0.01) and milk urea concentration, but only for Holstein breed (P<0.05). Milking time significantly influenced the fat and protein content (P<0.001) in the milk of Holstein cows, that is, lactose content (P<0.05) and urea concentration (P<0.05) in the milk of Simmental cows. The season significantly influenced the fat and protein content of milk (P<0.001), that is, urea concentration and log somatic cell count (P<0.01). Determining of urea concentration in cow milk should also be systematically conducted in the Republic of Croatia, in order to determine standard physiological values characteristical for a particular cow breed, aiming to determine the balance of energy and protein in rations.

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