Hamilton, New Zealand
Hamilton, New Zealand

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Aguilar I.,University of Georgia | Aguilar I.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Agropecuaria | Misztal I.,University of Georgia | Johnson D.L.,Livestock Improvement Corporation | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

The first national single-step, full-information (phenotype, pedigree, and marker genotype) genetic evaluation was developed for final score of US Holsteins. Data included final scores recorded from 1955 to 2009 for 6,232,548 Holsteins cows. BovineSNP50 (Illumina, San Diego, CA) genotypes from the Cooperative Dairy DNA Repository (Beltsville, MD) were available for 6,508 bulls. Three analyses used a repeatability animal model as currently used for the national US evaluation. The first 2 analyses used final scores recorded up to 2004. The first analysis used only a pedigree-based relationship matrix. The second analysis used a relationship matrix based on both pedigree and genomic information (single-step approach). The third analysis used the complete data set and only the pedigree-based relationship matrix. The fourth analysis used predictions from the first analysis (final scores up to 2004 and only a pedigree-based relationship matrix) and prediction using a genomic based matrix to obtain genetic evaluation (multiple-step approach). Different allele frequencies were tested in construction of the genomic relationship matrix. Coefficients of determination between predictions of young bulls from parent average, single-step, and multiple-step approaches and their 2009 daughter deviations were 0.24, 0.37 to 0.41, and 0.40, respectively. The highest coefficient of determination for a single-step approach was observed when using a genomic relationship matrix with assumed allele frequencies of 0.5. Coefficients for regression of 2009 daughter deviations on parent-average, single-step, and multiple-step predictions were 0.76, 0.68 to 0.79, and 0.86, respectively, which indicated some inflation of predictions. The single-step regression coefficient could be increased up to 0.92 by scaling differences between the genomic and pedigree-based relationship matrices with little loss in accuracy of prediction. One complete evaluation took about 2. h of computing time and 2.7 gigabytes of memory. Computing times for single-step analyses were slightly longer (2%) than for pedigree-based analysis. A national single-step genetic evaluation with the pedigree relationship matrix augmented with genomic information provided genomic predictions with accuracy and bias comparable to multiple-step procedures and could account for any population or data structure. Advantages of single-step evaluations should increase in the future when animals are pre-selected on genotypes. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.


Waghorn G.C.,DairyNZ Ltd. | Macdonald K.A.,DairyNZ Ltd. | Williams Y.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Davis S.R.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Spelman R.J.,Livestock Improvement Corporation
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2012

Selection for divergence between individuals for efficiency of feed utilization (residual feed intake, RFI) has widespread application in the beef industry and is usually undertaken when animals are fed diets based on silages with grain. The objective of this research was to develop a feeding system (using Gallagher, Hamilton, New Zealand, electronics) to measure RFI for growth in Holstein-Friesian heifers (aged 5-9 mo), and identify divergent individuals to be tested for RFI during lactation. A dry forage diet (alfalfa cubes) was fed because intakes could be measured accurately, and the New Zealand dairy industry (4.4million milking cows in lactation) relies heavily on forage feeding. The evaluation was undertaken over 3 yr with 1,052 animals fed in a facility for 7 wk, and weighed 3 times weekly. The mean age at the start of measurements was 215 d, body weight (BW) 189kg, and mean daily dry matter intakes averaged 6.7kg. Body weight gain (all animals) averaged 0.88kg/d. The RFI was determined as the residuals from the regression of mean intake on mean BW0.75 and daily BW gain of individuals. Actual and fitted intakes were strongly related (R2=0.82). In terms of gross efficiency (feed intake/BW gain), RFI+year explained 43% of the variation, BW gain+year explained 66%, and RFI+BW gain+year explained 79% of the variation (all P<0.001). Daily BW gains (kg) of the most and least efficient 10% averaged (± standard deviation) 0.88±0.15 and 0.88±0.12 (P=0.568), respectively, and the divergence between mean intakes was 1.46kg of dry matter/d. The most and least efficient animals will be tested for RFI during lactation and genetic markers will be identified for the trait. © 2012 American Dairy Science Association.


Spelman R.J.,Livestock Improvement Corporation | Hayes B.J.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Berry D.P.,Teagasc
Animal Production Science | Year: 2013

The New Zealand, Australian and Irish dairy industries have used genomic information to enhance their genetic evaluations over the last 2-4 years. The improvement in the accuracy obtained from including genomic information on thousands of animals in the national evaluation system has revolutionised the dairy breeding programs in the three countries. The genomically enhanced breeding values (GEBV) of young bulls are more reliable than breeding values based on parent average, thus allowing the young bulls to be reliably selected and used in the national herd. Traditionally, the use of young bulls was limited and bulls were not used extensively until they were 5 years old when the more reliable progeny test results became available. Using young sires, as opposed to progeny-tested sires, in the breeding program dramatically reduces the generation interval, thereby facilitating an increase in the rate of genetic gain by 40-50%. Young sires have been marketed on their GEBV in the three countries over the last 2-4 years. Initial results show that the genomic estimates were overestimated in both New Zealand and Ireland. Adjustments have since been introduced into their respective national evaluations to reduce the bias. A bias adjustment has been included in the Australian evaluation since it began; however, official genomic evaluations have not been in place as long as in New Zealand and Ireland, so there has been less opportunity to validate if the correction accounts for all bias. Sequencing of the dairy cattle population has commenced in an effort to further improve the genomic predictions and also to detect causative mutations that underlie traits of economic performance. © CSIRO 2013.


Singh K.,Agresearch Ltd. | Molenaar A.J.,Agresearch Ltd. | Swanson K.M.,Agresearch Ltd. | Gudex B.,Livestock Improvement Corporation | And 3 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2012

A potential role for epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of mammary function in the dairy cow is emerging. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in genome function that occur because of chemical changes rather than DNA sequence changes. DNA methylation is an epigenetic event that results in the silencing of gene expression and may be passed on to the next generation. However, recent studies investigating different physiological states and changes in milk protein gene expression suggest that DNA methylation may also play an acute, regulatory, role in gene transcription. This overview will highlight the role of DNA methylation in the silencing of milk protein gene expression during mastitis and mammary involution. Moreover, environmental factors such as nutrition may induce epigenetic modifications of gene expression. The current research investigating the possibility of in utero, hence cross-generational, epigenetic modifications in dairy cows will also be discussed. Understanding how the mammary gland responds to environmental cues provides a potential to enhance milk production not only of the dairy cow but also of her daughter. © Copyright The Animal Consortium 2012.


Littlejohn M.D.,DairyNZ Ltd. | Walker C.G.,DairyNZ Ltd. | Ward H.E.,ViaLactia BioSciences | Lehnert K.B.,ViaLactia BioSciences | And 6 more authors.
Physiological Genomics | Year: 2010

Regulation of milk synthesis and secretion is controlled mostly through local (intramammary) mechanisms. To gain insight into the molecular pathways comprising this response, an analysis of mammary gene expression was conducted in 12 lactating cows shifted from twice daily to once daily milking. Tissues were sampled by biopsy from adjacent mammary quarters of these animals during the two milking frequencies, allowing changes in gene expression to be assessed within each animal. Using bovine-specific, oligonucleotide arrays representing 21,495 unique transcripts, a range of differentially expressed genes were found as a result of less frequent milk removal, constituting transcripts and pathways related to apoptotic signaling (NF-κB, JUN, ATF3, IGFBP5, TNFSF12A) mechanical stress and epithelial tight junction synthesis (CYR61, CTGF, THBS1, CLDN4, CLDN8), and downregulated milk synthesis (LALBA, B4GALT1, UGP2, CSN2, GPAM, LPL). Quantitative real-time PCR was used to assess the expression of 13 genes in the study, and all 13 of these were correlated (P < 0.05) with values derived from array analysis. It can be concluded that the physiological changes that occur in the bovine mammary gland as a result of reduced milk removal frequency likely comprise the earliest stages of the involution response and that mechano-signal transduction cascades associated with udder distension may play a role in triggering these events. © 2010 the American Physiological Society.


Harris B.L.,Livestock Improvement Corporation | Johnson D.L.,Livestock Improvement Corporation
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

A method is described for the prediction of breeding values incorporating genomic information. The first stage involves the prediction of genomic breeding values for genotyped individuals. A novel component of this is the estimation of the genomic relationship matrix in the context of a multi-breed population. Because not all ancestors of genotyped animals are genotyped, a selection index procedure is used to blend genomic predictions with traditional ancestral information that is lost between the process of deregression of the national breeding values and subsequent re-estimation using the genomic relationship matrix. Finally, the genomically enhanced predictions are filtered through to nongenotyped descendants using a regression procedure. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.


Patent
Livestock Improvement Corporation Ltd | Date: 2014-10-24

The present invention relates, inter alia, to methods for determining whether or not an animal and/or its offspring is more likely than not to have an increased tolerance to heat, an increased resistance to ticks, and/or a desirable coat texture. It also provides methods for selecting or rejecting animals, one or more cells or embryos, estimating the worth of an animal, generating animals having a desired genotype/phenotype, cloning and breeding animals and herd formation.


Trademark
Livestock Improvement Corporation Ltd | Date: 2012-11-09

Animal foodstuffs; living animals; animal embryos. Farm management services for others; compilation, systemization, and management of information into computer databases containing data relating to animals, farms, production and reproduction values; business appraisals; compilation of information into computer databases, including agricultural and farm information; commercial information and advice for consumers, namely, farmers; wholesale and on-line retail store services featuring products for use on or in relation to farms and animals, namely, diagnostic and breeding products, DNA sampling kits and DNA profiling equipment, heat detectors and equipment used with heat detectors, semen and semen straws, drafting equipment, animal drafting gates, animal tags and equipment used with animal tags, computer hardware and software, internet downloads, reports, herd testing, and hand held devices, namely, cameras and video cameras, cellular devices, phones, handheld computers, and handheld scanners; compilation of information regarding milk production into computer databases; compilation of information into computer databases regarding animal breeding, animal management, animal productivity, animal health, milking, culling, pasture management, feed planning, herd testing, and farm performance; compilation of information regarding milk production into computer databases; providing websites featuring business information relating to farming and agriculture; provision of information, advisory and consultancy services in relation to the foregoing. Financial valuation of livestock and providing financial information about livestock value; financial valuation of livestock including a valuation of characteristics that a breeding animal may produce in its offspring and providing financial information about the foregoing. Scientific and technological services in the area of farm performance analysis, namely, research and design in the field of animal breeding, animal management, animal productivity, animal health, milking, culling, pasture management, feed planning, herd testing, and farm performance; industrial analysis and research services in the field of animal breeding, animal management, animal productivity, animal health, milking, culling, pasture management, feed planning, herd testing, and farm performance; scientific and technological services, namely, testing and analysis of milk quality, milk fat, protein and milk production; design and development of computer hardware and software; quality control testing for others; technical support, namely, monitoring technological functions of computer network systems, and help desk services for IT infrastructure, operating systems, database systems and web applications; horticultural and scientific research services; laboratory research in the area of dairy farming, milk production, animal breeding, genetic traits, animal productivity, animal health, herd testing, and farm performance; engineering; scientific research and development in the fields of genetics, biotechnology, bioprocessing, molecular biology, biochemistry, DNA analysis, analysis of DNA sequences for use in the breeding of animals and reproduction of plants, protection of animals and plants from disease, removing diseases from animals and plants, genetic trait selection and genetic defect elimination, genome analysis and diagnostic tests; DNA analysis services, namely, genotyping for research and analysis purposes, and ancestry verification; computer programming; database design and development, and maintenance of online database for recording animal and plant information, genetic evaluation, farm monitoring and management; scientific research in the field of genetic engineering; biotechnology research; product development consultation; biological, medical and veterinary research; veterinary research, namely, in vivo and in vitro research relating to animals; genetic engineering services; product development, namely, development of pharmaceutical, medical and veterinary compounds and compositions; laboratory research services in the fields of chemicals and chemical reagents, ultra-pure chemicals, tissue culture reagents, tissue culture products, molecular biology reagents, microbiology reagents, microbiological culture media, dehydrated ingredients for microbiological culture media, dehydrated media, prepared media, animal blood products, reagent serums and buffered solutions, diagnostic reagents for in vitro and/or in vivo procedures, diagnostic test chemicals, diagnostic test kits, sera, enzymes, restriction enzymes, blood, nuclei, cloning vectors, RNA, DNA, DNA probes; quality control testing services for others and quality control sampling of cells, hair, tissue, blood, milk, soil; provision of information, advisory and consultancy services in relation to the foregoing. medical services; veterinary services; agriculture services in the nature of livestock farming, animal breeding, animal husbandry management, monitoring animal health, dairy farming, namely, milking, herd culling, pasture management, animal feed planning, herd medical testing and herd testing for mastitis, lactose levels, milk fat levels, protein levels of milk, and somatic cell count; farming services; veterinary services, namely, providing livestock vaccination programs; dairy farming services; horticulture services; professional consultation and advice regarding animal breeding, animal husbandry management, animal breeding productivity, animal health, dairy farm milking, herd culling, pasture management, animal feed planning, medical testing of herds and testing of herds for mastitis, lactose levels, milk fat levels, protein levels of milk, and somatic cell count, and farm productivity; genetic testing for medical purposes, genetic testing of animals; veterinary services, namely, animal health monitoring and animal health evaluation; animal breeding and artificial insemination services; provision of databases featuring information regarding cattle and livestock farming, animal breeding, plant breeding, and genetic testing of animals and plants, animal husbandry management, animal breeding productivity and animal milk production, animal health, dairy farm milking, herd culling, pasture management, animal feed planning, herd medical testing, and testing of herds for mastitis, lactose levels, milk fat levels, protein levels of milk, and somatic cell count, and farm productivity; medical and veterinary diagnostic services; medical services, namely, gene therapy; medical and veterinary services in the nature of gene and cell therapies; provision of websites featuring information regarding farming and agricultural industries, namely, information in the field of animal breeding, animal husbandry management, animal breeding productivity and animal milk production, animal health, dairy farm milking, herd culling, pasture management, animal feed planning, herd medical testing and testing of herds for mastitis, milk fat levels, protein levels of milk, and somatic cell count, and farm productivity; provision of information, advisory and consultancy services in relation to the foregoing. Licensing of intellectual property.


Trademark
Livestock Improvement Corporation Ltd | Date: 2015-10-19

Semen for artificial insemination. Animal embryos; Live animals.


Lic

Trademark
LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION Ltd | Date: 2010-12-21

Chemical and biological microbiological reagents for pharmaceutical, medical and veterinary use, namely, microbiological culture media, dehydrated ingredients for microbiological culture media, dehydrated media, prepared media, tissue culture products sera, all of the aforesaid for use in extending the life of semen and particularly liquid semen; kits containing diagnostic reagents for medical and veterinary use; blood plasma; blood products, namely, blood plasma derived from blood and recombinant DNA technology; immunoglobins; hormones; prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines; adjuvants for medical purposes; dietetic foods adopted for medical use; calibration verification chemicals for use with medical diagnostic equipment; all-purpose disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; herbicides; insecticides; pesticides; parasiticides; rodenticides; fungicides; semen for artificial insemination; and preparations for the preservation and dilution of semen. Accounting, business management and business organization consulting; assistance in the management of business activities; business administration services relating to farms, farming, and farm products and services; business advisory services relating to farming and such services which are accessible through the Internet; retail store services featuring software in the field of agriculture; computerized database management, compilation and systemization of information into computer databases; all in relation to the farming and agriculture industries; and business and consultancy and advice. Veterinary services; hygienic care of animals; animal breeding; artificial insemination services; and in vitro fertilization.

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