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See detailGenetics and genomics of energy balance measured in milk using mid-infrared spectroscopy
McParland, Sinead; Calus, Mario; Coffey, Mike et al

Poster (2012, August)

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See detailGenetics and genomics of energy balance measured in milk using mid-infrared spectroscopy
McParland, Sinead; Calus, Mario; Coffey, Mike et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2012, August)

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See detailDifferences in bovine milk fat composition among dairy breeds in The Netherlands
Maurice-Van eijndhoven, Myrthe; Bovenhuis, Henk; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

Conference (2012, August)

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See detailDifferences in bovine milk fat composition among dairy breeds in The Netherlands
Maurice-Van Eijndhoven, Myrthe; Bovenhuis, Henk; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2012, August)

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See detailMid-infrared predictions of fatty acids in bovine milk : final results of the RobustMilk project
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; McParland, Sinead; Berry, Donagh et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2012, August)

The development of mid-infrared equations to predict the milk fatty acid (FA) content of milk allows prompt analysis of large numbers of samples and was one of the aims of the RobustMilk project. Data on ... [more ▼]

The development of mid-infrared equations to predict the milk fatty acid (FA) content of milk allows prompt analysis of large numbers of samples and was one of the aims of the RobustMilk project. Data on MIR spectra and FA from multiple countries, production systems, and breeds were used to develop equations to predict milk FA. The calibration set contained 1,776 spectrally different English, Irish, and Belgian milk samples collected for over 6 years. FA were quantified by gas chromatography (GC). Equations were built using partial least squares regression after a first derivative pretreatment applied to the spectral data. The robustness of the developed equations was assessed by cross-validation (CV) using 50 groups from the calibration set. The coefficient of determination (R²) obtained after CV ranged between 0.7101 for the total content of C18:2 and 0.9993 for the saturated FA group. The standard error of CV ranged between 0.0028 and 0.0998 g/dl of milk. Generally, the group or individual FA having the highest content in milk had the highest R²cv. The results obtained in this study confirmed the usefulness of MIR spectra to robustly quantify the FA content of milk permitting the use of these equations by milk laboratories in UK, Belgium or Ireland. Therefore, these equations could be used to develop selection or management tools for dairy farmers in order to improve the nutritional and environmental quality of milk based on the knowledge of the FA composition of their milk. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetics of the mineral contents in bovine milk predicted by mid-infrared spectrometry
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Dehareng, Frédéric; Romnée, Jean-Michel et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2012, August)

Knowing the contents of minerals in milk like Ca or Na could be interesting to improve the nutritional quality of milk and to assess the animal health status. This study had two aims: 1) development of ... [more ▼]

Knowing the contents of minerals in milk like Ca or Na could be interesting to improve the nutritional quality of milk and to assess the animal health status. This study had two aims: 1) development of mid-infrared equations for mineral contents in milk by using an approach combining multiple countries, breeds, and production systems and 2) study of the genetic variability of these traits in the Walloon Holstein dairy cattle. Samples included in the calibration set were collected in Belgium, Luxembourg and France over 5 years. The calibration set included at least 400 samples analyzed by coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry to quantify the contents of Na, Ca, Mg, P and K. The calibration coefficient of determination ranged between 0.69 for K and 0.93 for Na. The standard error of cross-validation was 63.35, 49.24, 64.33, 7.04, and 93.22 mg/kg of milk for Na, Ca, P, Mg and K. From these results, the quantification of milk minerals by mid-infrared is feasible. These equations were applied to more than 140,000 spectral records collected from 43,797 first parity Holstein cows in 1,233 herds. The variance components were estimated using Gibbs Sampling using single trait random regression models derived from the one used for the Walloon genetic evaluation of milk production traits. First results gave a daily heritability of 0.26 for Na, 0.45 for Ca, 0.48 for P, 0.46 for Mg, and 0.41 for K. Moderate negative genetic correlations were found between Na and the other studied traits. The highest correlation (0.69) was observed between P and Mg. These results confirmed the genetic variability of these traits. Further studies will be conducted to study the relationship between these traits and other traits (e.g., production, health). [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters for methane indicator traits based on milk fatty acids in cows
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Vanlierde, Amélie ULg; Dehareng, Frédéric et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2012, July 18)

Dairy production is pointed out for its large methane emission. Therefore, currently studies of factors affecting emission and methods to abate methane emission are numerous. However, an important issue ... [more ▼]

Dairy production is pointed out for its large methane emission. Therefore, currently studies of factors affecting emission and methods to abate methane emission are numerous. However, an important issue is the development of easily obtainable indicators, because they would also allow estimating animal genetic variability of methane emission. Recently methane indicators were proposed using gas chromatrography based milk fatty acid composition. We derived these published methane indicators using 1100 calibration samples directly from mid-infrared (MIR).For the published indicator showing the highest relationship (R2 = 0.88) with Sulfur Hexafluoride 6 methane emission data, genetic parameters for this MIR based indicator were estimated by single trait random regression test-day models from 619,272 records collected from 2007 to 2011 on 71,188 Holstein cows in their first three lactations at Walloon region of Belgium. The average daily heritability was 0.35±0.01, 0.35±0.02 and 0.32±0.02 for the first three lactations, respectively. Similarly, the lactation heritability was 0.67±0.02, 0.72±0.03 and 0.62±0.03. As expected, methane production was higher during the peak milk production depicting the normal lactation curve. The largest differences between estimated breeding values (EBV) of sires having cows in production eructing the highest and the lowest methane content was 21.80, 22.75 and 24.89 kg per lactation for the first three parities, the variances of the EBV of the sires with daughters were 10.67, 12.46, 12.18 kg2. Results were similar for other indicators. This study suggested that methane indicator traits can be predicted by MIR. Genetic parameters also indicated a rather high heritability and genetic variability exist for these published indicators and consequently a potential high genetic variability of methane eructation by dairy cows. Therefore, these first finding might open new opportunities for animal selection programs that include the reduction of methane emission. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters for methane indicator traits based on milk fatty acids in cows
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Vanlierde, Amélie ULg; Dehareng, Frédéric et al

Conference (2012, July 18)

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See detailEffect of milk recording schemes on milk and milk components genetic parameters in Luxembourg
Arnould, Valérie ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg

Conference (2012, July 18)

A particularity of the Luxembourg milk recording is the use of different schemes. Two principal schemes are applied: the scheme “S” applied on 69.1% of the total herds (n=712) and consisting in one ... [more ▼]

A particularity of the Luxembourg milk recording is the use of different schemes. Two principal schemes are applied: the scheme “S” applied on 69.1% of the total herds (n=712) and consisting in one proportionate sample of all daily milkings, and the scheme “T” (21.6% of the total herds) which consists in one sample of only one milking (morning or evening milking) (and alternating milking time from month to month). The problematic is that application of different schemes could influence the milk components (protein and fat yield) and the milk fat components (saturated and unsaturated groups of fatty acids) genetic parameters estimation and to prevent all comparisons between dairy population under different milk recording schemes. A total of 47,613 and 44,833 test-day records were obtained, respectively for schemes “S” and “T” from Holstein cows in first lactation in Luxembourg dairy herds. The used model included as fixed effects: herd x date of test, class of age, and month x year. Random effects were permanent environmental, additive genetics, and residual effects. The main objective of this work is to study the effect the choice of milk recording schemes (“S” or “T” schemes) on milk yield and milk components genetic parameters. A solution could be to add a fixed effect taking in account the milking time. The second objective is to study the effect of milking time (morning or evening) on genetic parameters estimated in the case of scheme “T”. According to the results, genetic parameters were statistically different between the schemes “S” and “T” for milk yield (P value < 0.0001). Further, the classifications of bulls according to their breeding values were very different when values were estimated on basis of scheme “S” or “T” (Spearman correlation value of 0.51 for milk yield for example). In conclusion, using several milk recording schemes do not allow any comparison of genetic parameters between dairy cattle’s. [less ▲]

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See detailFeasibility of genomic prediction of fatty acids composition in milk of dairy cattle from Luxembourg using single-step procedure
Faux, Pierre ULg; Arnould, Valérie ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

Conference (2012, July 16)

Milk composition in fatty acids (FA) portrays a class of novel traits of interest for both human health and animal robustness. With the exception of Wallonia, Luxembourg is currently the only place in the ... [more ▼]

Milk composition in fatty acids (FA) portrays a class of novel traits of interest for both human health and animal robustness. With the exception of Wallonia, Luxembourg is currently the only place in the world where, using mid-infrared spectrometry, milk composition in 29 FA is routinely recorded for dairy cows. Since 2007, spectral data has been recorded so far on 87,368 cows from 690 different herds, by 2 main control methods (T-method: one sample of only one milking, morning or evening, and S-method: proportionate sample of all daily milkings). Additionally, milk, fat and protein yields are available since 1990. The availability of FA allows many options for management use and animal breeding but requires advanced modeling (e.g., adapted to the testing methods). In the context of animal breeding, genomic selection has been widely developed in dairy cattle, where single-step approach (ssGBLUP) is particularly well suited for small-sized populations, as the dairy cattle population of Luxembourg (365,892 animals currently in pedigree) and is completely integrated into mixed modeling of phenotypic data. The objectives of this study were: (1) to assess the potential benefits of a single-step genomic evaluation on milk FA composition in a small-sized population and in particular (2) to quantify the impact of genomic information on reliability (REL) of estimated breeding values (EBV) of FA in Luxembourg. In a preliminary study for a single FA, oleic acid (C18:1 cis 9) genetic evaluations were performed on 47,613 milk records; collected by S-method, from 8,000 cows in first parity with a random regression test-day model using second order Legendre polynomials. For this sample, molecular data was simulated for 422 AI sires, ancestors of recorded cows. Prediction error variances (PEV) were used to compute REL and effective daughter contributions (EDC). First results showed a low increase in REL and EDC. Extension of this research to all sampling methods and research on the optimum structure of the reference population (bulls, cows) will be done to fit the Luxembourg-specific situation. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of the milk recording time on the genetic parameters of milk production and mid-infrared milk components in Luxembourg dairy cattle
Arnould, Valérie ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg

in Journal of Dairy Science (2012, July), 95

A particularity of the Luxembourg milk recording is the use of different schemes. Two principal schemes are applied: the scheme “S” applied on 69.1% of the total herds (n=712) and consisting in one ... [more ▼]

A particularity of the Luxembourg milk recording is the use of different schemes. Two principal schemes are applied: the scheme “S” applied on 69.1% of the total herds (n=712) and consisting in one proportionate sample of all daily milkings, and the scheme “T” (21.6% of the total herds) which consists in one sample of only one milking (morning or evening milking) (and alternating milking time from month to month). The problematic is that application of different schemes could influence the milk components (protein and fat yield) and the milk fat components (saturated and unsaturated groups of fatty acids) genetic parameters estimation and to prevent all comparisons between dairy population under different milk recording schemes. A total of 47,613 and 44,833 test-day records were obtained, respectively for schemes “S” and “T” from Holstein cows in first lactation in Luxembourg dairy herds. The used model included as fixed effects: herd x date of test, class of age, and month x year. Random effects were permanent environmental, additive genetics, and residual effects. The main objective of this work is to study the effect the choice of milk recording schemes (“S” or “T” schemes) on milk yield and milk components genetic parameters. A solution could be to add a fixed effect taking in account the milking time. The second objective is to study the effect of milking time (morning or evening) on genetic parameters estimated in the case of scheme “T”. According to the results, genetic parameters were statistically different between the schemes “S” and “T” for milk yield (P value < 0.0001). Further, the classifications of bulls according to their breeding values were very different when values were estimated on basis of scheme “S” or “T” (Spearman correlation value of 0.51 for milk yield for example). In conclusion, using several milk recording schemes do not allow any comparison of genetic parameters between dairy cattle’s. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters for methane indicator traits based on milk fatty acids in Dual Purpose Belgian Blue cattle
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg

Poster (2012, June 18)

Dairy production is pointed out for its large methane emission. Therefore, specific nutritional strategies are applying to abate methane emission but very less information is available about the animal ... [more ▼]

Dairy production is pointed out for its large methane emission. Therefore, specific nutritional strategies are applying to abate methane emission but very less information is available about the animal genetic variability of methane emission. Methane indicators using traits indirectly related to methane and easily recorded like the mid-infrared (MIR) prediction of fatty acid could be used to conduct genetic studies. MIR methane indicators used in this study were derived from published fatty acid based methane indicators using 597 calibration samples. Genetic parameters of these MIR indicators were estimated by single trait random regression test-day models from 13,389 records collected on 1602 Dual Purpose Belgium Blue cows in their first 3 lactations. For the published indicator showing the highest relationship (R2 =0.88) with Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) methane emission data, the average daily heritability was 0.25±0.06, 0.25±0.07 and 0.18±0.09 for the first three lactations, respectively. Similarly, the lactation heritability was 0.45±0.09, 0.46±0.11 and 0.24±0.14. The sire genetic variability was 3.60, 4.08, 1.19 kg2 of methane for the first three lactation, respectively. The genetic difference between the sires having cows eructing the highest and the lowest methane content was 11.62, 13.01 and 5.98 kg per lactation for the first three parities. This study suggested that methane indicator traits can be predicted by MIR and the genetic variability of these traits seems to exist. Therefore, it also suggests the genetic variability of methane content eructed by dairy cows. These first finding might open new opportunities for animal selection program on methane emission. [less ▲]

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See detailImplementing a National Routine Genetic Evaluation for Milk Fat Compositions as First Step Towards Genomic Predictions
Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Troch, Thibault ULg; Vanderick, Sylvie ULg et al

Conference (2012, May)

Currently the Walloon Region of Belgium is one of the first regions in the World where mid-infra red (MIR) spectral data is recorded in routine for nearly all cows under milk recording. Based on this data ... [more ▼]

Currently the Walloon Region of Belgium is one of the first regions in the World where mid-infra red (MIR) spectral data is recorded in routine for nearly all cows under milk recording. Based on this data, in some herds collected since 2007, saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) contents in milk are predicted for each test-day. Together with correlated traits as milk, fat and protein yields, estimated breeding values (EBV) are now computed in routine for SFA and MUFA starting in June 2012. A total of 499 821, 392 255, 277 465 fatty acid records were available in first, second and third lactation for this run. A restricted selection index, called NQI (nutritional quality index) was developed that puts a negative weight on SFA, a positive weight on MUFA and restricts changes in milk and fat yields to zero. By using this index for a constant fat content, milk fat will be selected to be less saturated with a high contribution from MUFA. Based on this system a single-step genomic evaluation is under development including the introduction of MACE breeding values for correlated traits. The final step is to offer for owners of genotyped animals, a service to provide them with genomically enhanced NQI. Similar systems are under development in Wallonia for other novel traits (e.g., methane emissions) based on the ability to predict them from MIR spectral data. [less ▲]

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See detailImplementing a National Routine Genetic Evaluation for Milk Fat Compositions as First Step Towards Genomic Predictions
Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Troch, Thibault ULg; Vanderick, Sylvie ULg et al

in Interbull Bulletin (2012), 46

Currently the Walloon Region of Belgium is one of the first regions in the World where mid-infra red (MIR) spectral data is recorded in routine for nearly all cows under milk recording. Based on this data ... [more ▼]

Currently the Walloon Region of Belgium is one of the first regions in the World where mid-infra red (MIR) spectral data is recorded in routine for nearly all cows under milk recording. Based on this data, in some herds collected since 2007, saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) contents in milk are predicted for each test-day. Together with correlated traits as milk, fat and protein yields, estimated breeding values (EBV) are now computed in routine for SFA and MUFA starting in June 2012. A total of 499 821, 392 255, 277 465 fatty acid records were available in first, second and third lactation for this run. A restricted selection index, called NQI (nutritional quality index) was developed that puts a negative weight on SFA, a positive weight on MUFA and restricts changes in milk and fat yields to zero. By using this index for a constant fat content, milk fat will be selected to be less saturated with a high contribution from MUFA. Based on this system a single-step genomic evaluation is under development including the introduction of MACE breeding values for correlated traits. The final step is to offer for owners of genotyped animals, a service to provide them with genomically enhanced NQI. Similar systems are under development in Wallonia for other novel traits (e.g., methane emissions) based on the ability to predict them from MIR spectral data. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters for methane indicator traits based on milk fatty acids
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg

Scientific conference (2012, February 14)

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See detailRelationships between methane emissions of dairy cattle and farm management.
Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg; Vanlierde, Amélie ULg; Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg et al

Poster (2012, February 10)

Livestock is considered as an important contributor to global methane emissions, predominately due to methanogenesis from ruminants. Moreover, these emissions also represent major losses of energy for ... [more ▼]

Livestock is considered as an important contributor to global methane emissions, predominately due to methanogenesis from ruminants. Moreover, these emissions also represent major losses of energy for dairy cows and therefore are linked to production efficiency. The on-going development of predictive equations (e.g., from milk composition) would allow to relate methane emissions to farm management (e.g., nutrition, environment) on a large scale in the Walloon Region of Belgium. Finally, by acquiring improved knowledge of these relationships, contributions to mitigate methane emissions could be based on an improved management of dairy herds. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of genetic parameters for methane indicator traits based on milk fatty acids in dual purpose Belgian blue cattle
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg

in Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences (2012, February 10), 77(1), 21-25

The genetic parameters of CH4 indicators were estimated by single trait test-day models from 16,825 records collected on Walloon Dual Purpose Belgium Blue cows in their first 3 lactations. Fatty acid ... [more ▼]

The genetic parameters of CH4 indicators were estimated by single trait test-day models from 16,825 records collected on Walloon Dual Purpose Belgium Blue cows in their first 3 lactations. Fatty acid based CH4 indicators published in the literature were predicted from milk mid-infrared spectra using 597 calibration samples. For the indicator showing the highest link (R2 =0.88) with SF6 CH4 data, the average daily heritability was 0.21, 0.20 and 0.10 for each lactation, respectively. The sire genetic variability was on average 2.82 kg2 of CH4 per lactation. The genetic difference between the sires having cows eructing higher and lower CH4 was 10 kg of CH4 averaged per lactation. In conclusion, CH4 indicators can be predicted by MIR and the genetic variability of these traits seems to exist. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing fatty acid contents in milk to improve fertility of dairy cows?
Bastin, Catherine ULg; Berry, D.P.; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

Poster (2012, February 10)

Improving dairy cow fertility by means of genetic selection has become increasingly important over the last years in order to overcome the declining cow fertility. This study investigated whether the ... [more ▼]

Improving dairy cow fertility by means of genetic selection has become increasingly important over the last years in order to overcome the declining cow fertility. This study investigated whether the fatty acids profile in milk could be used as an early predictor of genetic merit for fertility. Genetic covariances among 17 fatty acid contents in milk and the number of days from calving to conception were estimated from 29,792 first-parity Holstein cows. Results substantiated the unfavorable relationship among fertility and body fat mobilization in early lactation. Also, about 75% of the genetic variability of fertility was explained by the variability in milk fatty acids profile over the lactation indicating that these traits could be used to supplement genetic evaluations for fertility. [less ▲]

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See detailVariability among morning and evening milk compositions during the lactation
Arnould, Valérie ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg

Poster (2012, February 10)

The main objective of this study was to analyze milking-to-milking variability of milk yield and milk composition (such as fat and protein percentages and somatic cell count). Additional objective was to ... [more ▼]

The main objective of this study was to analyze milking-to-milking variability of milk yield and milk composition (such as fat and protein percentages and somatic cell count). Additional objective was to extend this analyze to the milk fat composition. Milk samples (n=195.960) were collected from 29.636 cows in 491 Luxembourg farms and analyzed by MIR spectrometry. The milk contents of saturated, mono-, poly- and unsaturated fatty acids, and short, medium and long chain fatty acids were predicted from the recorded MIR spectral data. As expected, the milk composition and the milk fat composition, are affected by several factors as the milking period and the days in milk. In practice, using separately milk evening and milk morning could be interesting for cheese or butter production. [less ▲]

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