Viking Genetics

Skara, Sweden

Viking Genetics

Skara, Sweden
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Morrell J.M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Nongbua T.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Nongbua T.,Mahasarakham University | Valeanu S.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Animal Reproduction Science | Year: 2017

A means of discriminating among bulls of high fertility based on sperm quality is needed by breeding centers. The objective of the study was to examine parameters of sperm quality in bulls of known fertility to identify useful indicators of fertility. Frozen semen was available from bulls of known fertility (Viking Genetics, Skara, Sweden): Swedish Red (n = 31), Holstein (n = 25) and Others (one each of Charolais, Limousin, Blonde, SKB). After thawing, the sperm samples were analyzed for motility (computer assisted sperm analysis), plasma membrane integrity, chromatin integrity, acrosome status, mitochondrial activity and reactive oxygen species. A fertility index score based on the adjusted 56-day non-return rate for >1000 inseminations was available for each bull. Multivariate data analysis (Partial Least Squares Regression and Orthogonal Partial Least Squares Regression) was performed to identify variables related to fertility; Pearson univariate correlations were made on the parameters of interest. Breed of bull affected the relationship of sperm quality variables and fertility index score, as follows: Swedish Red: %DNA Fragmentation Index, r = -0.56, P<. 0.01; intact plasma membrane, r = 0.40, P< 0.05; membrane damaged, not acrosome reacted, r = -0.6, P< 0.01; Linearity, r = 0.37, P< 0.05; there was a trend towards significance for Wobble, r = 0.34, P = 0.08. Holstein: Linearity was significant r = 0.46, P< 0.05; there was a trend towards significance for Wobble, r = 0.45, P = 0.08. In conclusion, breed has a greater effect on sperm quality than previously realized; different parameters of sperm quality are needed to indicate potential fertility in different breeds. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Viking Genetics, Physiology and Indonesian Institute of Sciences
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2014

The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of single-layer centrifugation (SLC) through a species-specific colloid (Androcoll-B; patent pending, J. M. Morrell) on bull sperm quality. Computer-assisted sperm analysis of motility and flow cytometric analysis of sperm viability (SYBR-14/propidium iodide staining), chromatin integrity (acridine orange staining), reactive oxygen species production [Hoechst 33258-hydroethidine-2,7-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (HO-HE-DCFDA) staining], mitochondrial membrane potential (staining with JC-1 probe), and protein tyrosine phosphorylation (specific antibody staining) were performed on unselected and SLC-selected sperm samples. Single-layer centrifugation of bull spermatozoa resulted in the selection of a sperm population that had high mitochondrial membrane potential, a higher content of phosphorylated protein, and more reactive oxygen species than control samples. Sperm chromatin damage was lower in the SLC samples although sperm viability and motility did not differ between SLC samples and controls. These observations suggest that SLC of bull semen in a soybean-containing extender improved some, but not all, parameters of sperm quality.


Thomsen H.,University of Aarhus | Thomasen J.R.,Viking Genetics | Guldbrandtsen B.,University of Aarhus | Lund M.S.,University of Aarhus
Archiv fur Tierzucht | Year: 2011

The main objective was to locate QTL and estimate the proportion of total genetic variance attributable to quantitative trait loci (QTL) for production index traits and the udder health index identified on six Bos taurus autosomes in the Danish Holstein dairy cattle population. Data were obtained from a granddaughter design of 20 sire families with a total of 1 869 progeny tested sons. The number of sons per grandsire ranged from 20 to 284, with an average family size of 93.5. Indexes of the estimated breeding values were obtained for the milk production traits and for the udder health index from the Danish Agricultural Advisory Service database. A random-QTL model was applied to incorporate marker information into parameter estimation for each single QTL. The procedure allowed us to detect new QTL on BTA3, BTA16 and BTA28 and to estimate the proportion of total genetic variance attributed to different QTL on a total of six Bos taurus autosomes for the udder health index and yield index traits in the Danish Holstein population. Variance estimates vary between 2 to 58 % of the total variance for different QTL and seem to explain a substantial part of the variance at certain positions of the cattle genome. The results are discussed against the background of the failure of marker-assisted selection (MAS) and the recent availability of large panels of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that have improved the search for mutations underlying variation in complex traits resulting in modern genomic selection.© Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Dummerstorf, Germany.


Christensen P.,Copenhagen University | Christensen P.,SPZ Laboratory A S | Labouriau R.,University of Aarhus | Birck A.,Copenhagen University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

Optimal use of genetically superior bulls through artificial insemination (AI) is highly dependent on precise assessment of seminal quality which allows for reasonable estimations of field fertility with normal or low-dose inseminations. In the present study, seminal measures such as sperm motility and morphology, sperm viability, sperm DNA fragmentation, and the ability of the sperm to display an acrosome reaction were tested. The relationships between field fertility and the seminal measures were investigated using 3 ejaculates from each of 195 bulls (156 Holstein and 39 Jersey) participating in a progeny test program. A range of AI doses, varying from 2 × 10 6 to 15 × 10 6 sperm/straw, was obtained by a controlled dilution process applied to each ejaculate. The different AI doses were distributed at random among 75,610 experimental first inseminations in 4,721 herds and 208 AI technicians. Most of the seminal measures appeared to contain a predictive value for the nonreturn to estrus at 56 d post-AI (NRR56) regardless of the number of sperm per AI dose and can be regarded as noncompensable sperm traits. But, due to correlations between the individual measures, the best model for describing (and predicting) NRR56 was based on sperm concentration and viability in the neat (raw) semen, and post-thaw sperm viability. The statistical models for describing NRR56 included the following explanatory variables: strength of the estrus, number of sperm per AI dose, breed, parity, and random components representing herds and AI technicians. The present results show that the most precise estimation of a bull's NRR56 can be achieved through flow cytometric detection of sperm concentration and viability in neat semen as well as flow cytometric detection of post-thaw sperm viability. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.


Goodla L.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Morrell J.M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Yusnizar Y.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Yusnizar Y.,Indonesian Institute of Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2014

The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of single-layer centrifugation (SLC) through a species-specific colloid (Androcoll-B; patent pending, J. M. Morrell) on bull sperm quality. Computer-assisted sperm analysis of motility and flow cytometric analysis of sperm viability (SYBR-14/propidium iodide staining), chromatin integrity (acridine orange staining), reactive oxygen species production [Hoechst 33258-hydroethidine-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (HO-HE-DCFDA) staining], mitochondrial membrane potential (staining with JC-1 probe), and protein tyrosine phosphorylation (specific antibody staining) were performed on unselected and SLC-selected sperm samples. Single-layer centrifugation of bull spermatozoa resulted in the selection of a sperm population that had high mitochondrial membrane potential, a higher content of phosphorylated protein, and more reactive oxygen species than control samples. Sperm chromatin damage was lower in the SLC samples although sperm viability and motility did not differ between SLC samples and controls. These observations suggest that SLC of bull semen in a soybean-containing extender improved some, but not all, parameters of sperm quality. © 2014 American Dairy Science Association.


Bergsten C.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Telezhenko E.,Viking Genetics | Ventorp M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Animals | Year: 2015

Claw health, an important dairy cow welfare parameter, may be affected by early-life foot/leg stresses. To investigate this, groups of pregnant heifers were allocated to deep straw bedding (Soft) or cubicles (Hard), both with scraped concrete feeding alleys. After the grazing season, they were re-housed in cubicle systems, half on slatted concrete (Hard) and half on slatted rubber (Soft) alleys. Claw measurements, contact area and pressure distribution claw/flooring, claw disorders and leg lesions were recorded at the start and end of each housing season. Locomotion and leg lesions were also scored monthly after calving. Prevalence of sole haemorrhages was higher among pregnant heifers in cubicles than in deep straw. After calving, first-calvers on Hard floors had higher odds for lameness (OR = 3.6; p < 0.01), sole haemorrhages/ulcers (OR = 2.2; p < 0.05), white-line haemorrhages (OR = 2.8; p < 0.01) and leg lesions (OR = 2.6; p < 0.02) than those on Soft floors. Lowest prevalence and severity of sole and white-line haemorrhages (non-significant) in first-calvers was found in those on Soft floors and reared on Hard floors and the highest prevalence and severity on those on Hard floors reared on Soft floors. Soft flooring after calving is of most importance for healthy feet and legs. © 2015, by the authors, licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Carlstrom C.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Pettersson G.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Johansson K.,Va and odie;xa Sweden | Strandberg E.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to investigate how useful data from automatic milking systems used in commercial herds are for genetic analysis of milkability traits. Data were available from 4,968 Swedish Holstein and Swedish Red cows over a span of 5 yr (2004-2009) from 19 herds. The analyzed milkability traits were average flow rate, box time, milking interval, and number of milkings per day. Variance components were estimated for genetic, permanent environmental, and residual effects in first and later (second and third) lactations, and were used for estimation of heritabilities and repeatablilites. The experiences of the data quality and editing procedures showed that almost half of the data and about a quarter of the cows had to be excluded from the analyses due to incomplete or inconsistent information. However, much more data are available than is needed for accurate genetic parameter estimations. For the genetic analysis, a repeatability animal model was used that included the fixed effects of herd, year and season, lactation month, and milk yield. The repeatability coefficients were at a high level: highest for average flow rate, with estimates between 0.8 and 0.9. The estimated heritability coefficients were in the range of 0.37 to 0.48, 0.21 to 0.44, 0.09 to 0.26, and 0.02 to 0.07 for average flow rate, box time, milking interval, and number of milkings, respectively. The results from the present study unraveled large genetic variation in milkability traits. The genetic parameter estimates were well in agreement with previous studies of milkability, which proves the feasibility of using data from automatic milking systems for genetic analysis. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.


Carlstrom C.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Strandberg E.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Johansson K.,Vaxa Sweden | Pettersson G.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2014

The overall objective of this study was to assess the use of in-line recorded milkability information from dairy herds with conventional milking parlors (CMP) and from herds with automatic milking systems (AMS) for genetic evaluation. Some genetic parameters were previously studied on AMS data for 2,053 Swedish Holstein (SH) and 1,749 Swedish Red (SR) cows in 19 herds. These data were combined in the present paper with milkability information from 74 herds with CMP, including 11,123 SH cows and 7,554 SR cows. Genetic parameters were estimated for the CMP data and genetic correlations were estimated between milkability traits measured in the 2 systems. Average flow rate and milking time were derived and used as similar milkability traits for both systems, whereas box time was used only for AMS herds. Estimated heritabilities were in the range from 0.24 to 0.49. Even though the traits were differently defined in the 2 milking systems, the corresponding traits recorded in AMS and CMP were genetically closely related (0.93-1.00). Similarly, close genetic relationships were shown between milkability traits in different lactations in both breeds (0.93-0.99). Thus, it should be possible to treat milkability traits in different lactations and from different milking systems as the same traits in genetic evaluations. The various milkability traits were also highly genetically correlated, indicating that the inclusion of just one trait in the genetic selection program would efficiently select for milkability without the need to consider all measures. Comparisons of repeatability and random regression models, combining all information from the 2 systems for genetic evaluation, were done to find the most suitable model for genetic evaluation purposes. Even though the random regression models were favored in the formal model tests to evaluate suitability, correlation coefficients between test-days within lactation were high (0.7-0.8) and small differences in breeding values resulted among different models. That would indicate that a few test-days per cow would produce accurate breeding values for milkability. © 2014 American Dairy Science Association.


PubMed | Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Viking Genetics
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Animals : an open access journal from MDPI | Year: 2015

Claw health, an important dairy cow welfare parameter, may be affected by early-life foot/leg stresses. To investigate this, groups of pregnant heifers were allocated to deep straw bedding (Soft) or cubicles (Hard), both with scraped concrete feeding alleys. After the grazing season, they were re-housed in cubicle systems, half on slatted concrete (Hard) and half on slatted rubber (Soft) alleys. Claw measurements, contact area and pressure distribution claw/flooring, claw disorders and leg lesions were recorded at the start and end of each housing season. Locomotion and leg lesions were also scored monthly after calving. Prevalence of sole haemorrhages was higher among pregnant heifers in cubicles than in deep straw. After calving, first-calvers on Hard floors had higher odds for lameness (OR = 3.6; P < 0.01), sole haemorrhages/ulcers (OR = 2.2; P < 0.05), white-line haemorrhages (OR = 2.8; P < 0.01) and leg lesions (OR = 2.6; P < 0.02) than those on Soft floors. Lowest prevalence and severity of sole and white-line haemorrhages (non-significant) in first-calvers was found in those on Soft floors and reared on Hard floors and the highest prevalence and severity on those on Hard floors reared on Soft floors. Soft flooring after calving is of most importance for healthy feet and legs.


PubMed | Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Vaxa Sweden and Viking Genetics
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2013

The overall objective of this study was to assess the use of in-line recorded milkability information from dairy herds with conventional milking parlors (CMP) and from herds with automatic milking systems (AMS) for genetic evaluation. Some genetic parameters were previously studied on AMS data for 2,053 Swedish Holstein (SH) and 1,749 Swedish Red (SR) cows in 19 herds. These data were combined in the present paper with milkability information from 74 herds with CMP, including 11,123 SH cows and 7,554 SR cows. Genetic parameters were estimated for the CMP data and genetic correlations were estimated between milkability traits measured in the 2 systems. Average flow rate and milking time were derived and used as similar milkability traits for both systems, whereas box time was used only for AMS herds. Estimated heritabilities were in the range from 0.24 to 0.49. Even though the traits were differently defined in the 2 milking systems, the corresponding traits recorded in AMS and CMP were genetically closely related (0.93-1.00). Similarly, close genetic relationships were shown between milkability traits in different lactations in both breeds (0.93-0.99). Thus, it should be possible to treat milkability traits in different lactations and from different milking systems as the same traits in genetic evaluations. The various milkability traits were also highly genetically correlated, indicating that the inclusion of just one trait in the genetic selection program would efficiently select for milkability without the need to consider all measures. Comparisons of repeatability and random regression models, combining all information from the 2 systems for genetic evaluation, were done to find the most suitable model for genetic evaluation purposes. Even though the random regression models were favored in the formal model tests to evaluate suitability, correlation coefficients between test-days within lactation were high (0.7-0.8) and small differences in breeding values resulted among different models. That would indicate that a few test-days per cow would produce accurate breeding values for milkability.

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