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Hagiya K.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Terawaki Y.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Yamazaki T.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Nagamine Y.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | And 7 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2013

We investigated the relationships between conception rates (CRs) at first service in Japanese Holstein heifers (i.e. animals that had not yet had their first calf) and cows and their test-day (TD) milk yields. Data included records of artificial insemination (AI) for heifers and cows that had calved for the first time between 2000 and 2008 and their TD milk yields at 6 through 305 days in milk (DIM) from first through third lactations. CR was defined as a binary trait for which first AI was a failure or success. A threshold-linear animal model was applied to estimate genetic correlations between CRs of heifers or cows and TD milk yield at various lactation stages. Two-trait genetic analyses were performed for every combination of CR and TD milk yield by using the Bayesian method with Gibbs sampling. The posterior means of the heritabilities of CR were 0.031 for heifers, 0.034 for first-lactation cows and 0.028 for second-lactation cows. Heritabilities for TD milk yield increased from 0.324 to 0.433 with increasing DIM but decreased slightly after 210 DIM during first lactation. These heritabilities from the second and third lactations were higher during late stages of lactation than during early stages. Posterior means of the genetic correlations between heifer CR and all TD yields were positive (range, 0.082 to 0.287), but those between CR of cows and milk yields during first or second lactation were negative (range,-0.121 to-0.250). Therefore, during every stage of lactation, selection in the direction of increasing milk yield may reduce CR in cows. The genetic relationships between CR and lactation curve shape were quite weak, because the genetic correlations between CR and TD milk yield were constant during the lactation period. © 2013 The Animal Consortium.

Sugimoto M.,National Livestock Breeding Center | Gotoh Y.,Holstein Cattle Association of Japan | Kawahara T.,Holstein Cattle Association of Japan | Sugimoto Y.,Shirakawa Institute of Animal Genetics
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Conception rates among dairy cows in Japan have declined in recent decades. To enhance our understanding of the genes involved in conception rates, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using 822 Holsteins and identified a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associated with conception rate: A+169G in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of unc-5 homolog C (UNC5C). Cows with higher conception rates carried the A polymorphism in the UNC5C 3'UTR. Luciferase assays and quantitative analysis of allele ratios revealed that UNC5C transcripts with the A polymorphism were expressed at higher levels than those carrying the G polymorphism. UNC5C transmits either pro- or anti-apoptotic signals depending on the availability of its ligand, Netrin-1. UNC5C expression is negatively regulated by reproductive homeobox X-linked 5 (Rhox5), and the Rhox5 locus is methylated by G9a methyltransferase. G9a-knockout mice have previously been demonstrated to be subfertile, and we found that UNC5C, G9a, and Netrin-1 expression levels increased from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage in fertilized murine embryos, whereas Rhox5 expression decreased. Repression of UNC5C, G9a, or Netrin-1 or forced expression of Rhox5 in the anterior nucleus stage inhibited development to the blastocyst stage, suggesting that cows carrying the G polymorphism in UNC5C might have lower conception rates because of the poor development of preimplantation embryos. This study provides novel insights into the role of UNC5C during embryonic development. Copyright: © 2015 Sugimoto et al.

Sugimoto M.,National Livestock Breeding Center | Itoh T.,Maebashi Institute of Animal Science | Gotoh Y.,Holstein Cattle Association of Japan | Kawahara T.,Holstein Cattle Association of Japan | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

Mastitis is a common infectious disease of the mammary gland and a major problem in the dairy industry. We previously reported that forebrain embryonic zinc finger-like (FEZL) encoding a stretch of 12 glycines (p.Gly105[12]) instead of 13 glycines (p.Gly105[13]) is associated with a lower somatic cell score (SCS) in a family derived from Walkway Chief Mark. Here we report that the p.Gly105[12] allele is associated with a significantly decreased incidence of clinical mastitis in a large Holstein population. We genotyped the FEZL polymorphism in 918 randomly collected Holstein sires, and investigated the effect of the polymorphism on the estimated breeding value (EBV) for SCS and milk, fat, solids-not-fat, and protein yield, and on the number of cattle with clinical mastitis among daughters derived from these sires. The average EBV for SCS among sires carrying the heterozygous p.Gly105[12] was significantly lower than that among sires carrying the homozygous p.Gly105[13], whereas we found no unfavorable effects of this polymorphism on EBV for milk, fat, solids-not-fat, and protein yield. The proportion of cows with clinical mastitis derived from sires carrying heterozygous p.Gly105[12] was significantly lower than that of daughters derived from sires carrying the homozygous p.Gly105[13]. Thus, selection of sires carrying p.Gly105[12] could be beneficial in the dairy industry by reducing the incidence of mastitis. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.

Hagiya K.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Yamazaki T.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Nagamine Y.,Nihon University | Togashi K.,Livestock Improvement Association of Japan | And 5 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to estimate genetic correlations between milk yield, somatic cell score (SCS), mastitis, and claw and leg disorders (CLDs) during first lactation in Holstein cows by using a threshold-linear random regression test-day model. We used daily records of milk, fat and protein yields; somatic cell count (SCC); and mastitis and CLD incidences from 46 771 first-lactation Holstein cows in Hokkaido, Japan, that calved between 2000 and 2009. A threshold animal model for binary records (mastitis and CLDs) and linear animal model for yield traits were applied in our multiple trait analysis. For both liabilities and yield traits, additive genetic effects were used as random regression on cubic Legendre polynomials of days on milk. The highest positive genetic correlations between yields and disease incidences (0.36 for milk and mastitis, 0.56 for fat and mastitis, 0.24 for protein and mastitis, 0.32 for milk and CLD, 0.44 for fat and CLD and 0.31 for protein and CLD) were estimated at about the time of peak milk yield (36 to 65 days in milk). Selection focused on early lactation yield may therefore increase the risk of mastitis and CLDs. The positive genetic correlations of SCS with mastitis or CLD incidence imply that selection to reduce SCS in the early stages of lactation would decrease the incidence of both mastitis and CLD. © 2013 The Animal Consortium.

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