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See detailGenetic parameters for mid-infrared methane indicators based on milk fatty acids in dairy cows
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg

in Journal of Applied Animal Research (in press)

Dairy production is identified as a major source of methane (CH4) emissions. Selective breeding canbe one method used to mitigate CH4 emissions but practical and cheap measurement of this trait is not ... [more ▼]

Dairy production is identified as a major source of methane (CH4) emissions. Selective breeding canbe one method used to mitigate CH4 emissions but practical and cheap measurement of this trait is not currently available. The mid-infrared (MIR) prediction of milk fatty acids is relevant in this context. Five MIR methane indicators were derived from the literature and were calibrated from 600 samples analyzed by gas chromatography. Genetic parameters for these traits were estimated using single trait random regression test-day models from 619,265 records collected from 2007 to 2011 on 71,188 Holstein cows in their first three lactations. For the published indicator showing the highest relationship with the methane data (R2 = 0.88), the average daily heritability was 0.34±0.01, 0.37±0.01 and 0.34±0.01 for the first three lactations, respectively. The methane emission (g/day) was increased from beginning of lactation, reached at the highest in peak of lactation and decreased towards end of lactation. The largest differences between estimated breeding values (EBV) of sires having daughters 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. Positive genetic correlations were estimated between indicator traits and milk fat and protein content. Low negative correlation was observed with milk yield. In conclusion, this study shows the feasibility to predict methane indicator traits by MIR. Moreover, the estimated genetic parameters suggest also a potential genetic variability of the quantity of methane eructed by dairy cows. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing milk spectral data for large-scale phenotypes linked to mitigation and efficiency
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Vanlierde, Amélie; Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg et al

Conference (2014, August 26)

Even if producing milk efficiently has always been a major concern for producers, the direct environmental impact of their cows is becoming a novel one. Traits linked to this issue were identified as ... [more ▼]

Even if producing milk efficiently has always been a major concern for producers, the direct environmental impact of their cows is becoming a novel one. Traits linked to this issue were identified as methane emission (CH4), dry matter intake (DMI) and feed efficiency (FE); however they are available on a small scale. Researches showed that CH4 could be predicted from milk mid-infrared (MIR) spectra, allowing large-scale recording at low cost. The main objective of this study was to show, using a modelling approach, that DMI and FE could be derived from milk MIR spectra. For that, knowledge of body weight (BW) is required; however it was unknown in this study. Derived procedure was based on milk yield and composition, MIR CH4, and modelled standard animal requirements, allowing the prediction of expected BW. An external validation was conducted based on 91 actual records. 95% confidence limit for the difference ranged between -0.66 and 18.84 kg for BW, from -0.02 to 0.26 kg/day for DMI, and from -0.02 to 0.002 kg of fat corrected milk/kg DM for FE. Root mean square errors were 39.66 kg, 0.56 kg/d, and 0.03 kg/DM for the 3 studied traits. P-value for the t-test was not significant for BW and DMI. This suggests the possibility to obtain expected BW and therefore DMI from MIR spectra. Single trait animal test-day models used 1,291,850 records to assess the variability of studied traits. Significant variations were observed for the lactation stage, parity, genetics, and age. These findings were in agreement with the literature except for early lactation. This suggests in conclusion that the MIR information gave similar results for DMI and CH4 for the major part of lactation. The use of this novel method to predict expected BW offers new possibilities interesting for the development of genomic and genetic tools. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing milk spectral data for large-scale phenotypes linked to mitigation and efficiency
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Vanlierde, Amélie; Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg et al

in Book of abstracts of the 65th annual meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2014, August)

Even if producing milk efficiently has always been a major concern for producers, the direct environmental impact of their cows is becoming a novel one. Traits linked to this issue were identified as ... [more ▼]

Even if producing milk efficiently has always been a major concern for producers, the direct environmental impact of their cows is becoming a novel one. Traits linked to this issue were identified as methane emission (CH4), dry matter intake (DMI) and feed efficiency (FE); however they are available on a small scale. Researches showed that CH4 could be predicted from milk mid-infrared (MIR) spectra, allowing large-scale recording at low cost. The main objective of this study was to show, using a modelling approach, that DMI and FE could be derived from milk MIR spectra. For that, knowledge of body weight (BW) is required; however it was unknown in this study. Derived procedure was based on milk yield and composition, MIR CH4, and modelled standard animal requirements, allowing the prediction of expected BW. An external validation was conducted based on 91 actual records. 95% confidence limit for the difference ranged between -0.66 and 18.84 kg for BW, from -0.02 to 0.26 kg/day for DMI, and from -0.02 to 0.002 kg of fat corrected milk/kg DM for FE. Root mean square errors were 39.66 kg, 0.56 kg/d, and 0.03 kg/DM for the 3 studied traits. P-value for the t-test was not significant for BW and DMI. This suggests the possibility to obtain expected BW and therefore DMI from MIR spectra. Single trait animal test-day models used 1,291,850 records to assess the variability of studied traits. Significant variations were observed for the lactation stage, parity, genetics, and age. These findings were in agreement with the literature except for early lactation. This suggests in conclusion that the MIR information gave similar results for DMI and CH4 for the major part of lactation. The use of this novel method to predict expected BW offers new possibilities interesting for the development of genomic and genetic tools. [less ▲]

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See detailConsequences of Selection for Environmental Impact Traits in Dairy Cows
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Vanderick, Sylvie ULg; Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg et al

in Proceedings, 10th World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (2014, August)

Genetic selection programs aiming to mitigate methane (CH4) emissions require the estimation of genetic correlations with other production and economical traits and predicted selection response. CH4 ... [more ▼]

Genetic selection programs aiming to mitigate methane (CH4) emissions require the estimation of genetic correlations with other production and economical traits and predicted selection response. CH4 intensity was predicted from Mid-infrared spectra of milk samples from Holstein cows. Genetic correlations between CH4 intensity and milk yield (MY) was -0.68, fat yield (FY) -0.13, protein yield (PY) -0.47, somatic cell score (SCS) 0.07, longevity 0.05, fertility 0.31, body condition score (BCS) 0.17. Adding 25% relative weight on CH4 intensity to the current Walloon selection index, the response to selection would reduce CH4 intensity by 24%, increase MY by 30%, FY by 17%, PY by 29%, SCS by -14%, longevity by 24% but also reduce fertility by 11% and BCS by 13%. In conclusion, environmental traits can be added without jeopardizing production traits, but energy balance related traits have to be protected. [less ▲]

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See detailConsequences of Selection for Environmental Impact Trait in Dairy Cows
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Vanderick, Sylvie ULg; Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, February 07)

Environmental sustainability is gaining importance in dairy industry due to enteric methane (CH4) emission from dairy cows. We predicted CH4 indicator trait (CH4 intensity: CH4 g/kg of milk) from Mid ... [more ▼]

Environmental sustainability is gaining importance in dairy industry due to enteric methane (CH4) emission from dairy cows. We predicted CH4 indicator trait (CH4 intensity: CH4 g/kg of milk) from Mid-infrared spectra of milk samples and recorded milk yield. Genetic correlations between CH4 intensity and milk production traits were estimated on Holstein cows from correlations of estimated breeding values. Genetic correlations between CH4 intensity and milk yield (MY) was -0.67, fat yield (FY) -0.13, protein yield (PY) -0.46, somatic cell score (SCS) 0.02, longevity -0.07, fertility 0.31, body condition score (BCS) 0.27 and average of confirmation traits -0.23. Currently, there is no CH4 emission trait in genetic evaluation selection index. Putting an hypothetical 25% weight on CH4 intensity on current Walloon genetic evaluation selection index and proportional reduction on other selection traits, the response to selection will be reduction of CH4 emission intensity by 24%, increase in MY by 30%, FY by 17%, PY by 29%, SCS by -15%, longevity by 24%, fertility by -11%, BCS by -13% and conformation traits by 24%. In conclusion, introduction of environmental traits in current selection index will affect selection responses. As there is no economic value of these traits presently alternative methods like putting correlated traits with clear economic value (e.g. feed efficiency) in the selection objective could generate appropriate index weights. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic effects of heat stress on milk yield and MIR predicted methane emissions of Holstein cows
Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg et al

Conference (2013, August 28)

Dairy cows both contribute to and are affected by climate change. Breeding for heat tolerance and reduced methane (CH4) emissions is a key requirement to mitigate interactions between dairy cows and ... [more ▼]

Dairy cows both contribute to and are affected by climate change. Breeding for heat tolerance and reduced methane (CH4) emissions is a key requirement to mitigate interactions between dairy cows and climate change. This study was aimed to estimate genetic variation of milk yield and CH4 emissions over the whole trajectory of temperature humidity index (THI) using a reaction norm approach. A total of 257,635 milk test-day (TD) records and milk mid-infrared (MIR) spectra from 51,782 Holstein cows were used. Data were collected between January 2007 and December 2010 in 983 herds by the Walloon Breeding Association (Ciney, Belgium). The calibration equation developed by Vanlierde et al. (Abstract submitted to EAAP 2013; R² of cross-validation=0.70) was applied on the spectral data in order to predict CH4 emissions values (g CH4/d). These values were divided by fat and protein corrected milk yield (FPCM) defining a new CH4 trait (g CH4/kg of FPCM). Daily THI values were calculated using the mean of daily values of dry bulb temperature and relative humidity from meteorological data. Mean daily THI of the previous 3 days before each TD record was used as the THI of reference for that TD. Bivariate (milk yield and a CH4 trait) random regression TD mixed models with random linear regressions on THI values were used. Estimated average daily heritability for milk yield was 0.17 and decreased slightly at extreme THI values. However, heritabilities of MIR CH4 traits increased as THI values increase: from 0.10 (THI=28) to 0.14 (THI=75) for MIR CH4 (g/d) and from 0.14 (THI=28) to 0.21 (THI=75) for MIR CH4 (g/kg of FCPM). Genetic correlations between milk yield and MIR CH4 (g/d) ranged from -0.09 (THI=28) to -0.12 (THI=75) and those between milk yield and MIR CH4 (g/kg of FPCM) from -0.75 (THI=28) to -0.71 (THI=75). These results showed that milk production and CH4 emissions of dairy cows seemed to be influenced by THI. [less ▲]

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See detailHerd-test-day variability of methane emissions predicted from milk MIR spectra in Holstein cows
Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg; Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

Poster (2013, August 26)

The aim of this study was to estimate the herd-test-day (HTD) effect on milk yield, fat and protein content, and methane (CH4) emissions of Walloon Holstein first-parity cows. A total of 412,520 test-day ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to estimate the herd-test-day (HTD) effect on milk yield, fat and protein content, and methane (CH4) emissions of Walloon Holstein first-parity cows. A total of 412,520 test-day records and milk mid-infrared (MIR) spectra of 69,223 cows in 1,104 herds were included in the data set. The prediction equation developed by Vanlierde et al. (Abstract submitted to EAAP 2013; R² of cross-validation=0.70) was applied on the recorded spectral data to predict CH4 emissions (g/d). Daily CH4 emissions expressed in g/kg of milk were computed by dividing CH4 emissions (g/d) by daily milk yield of cows. Several bivariate (a CH4 trait with a production trait) random regression test-day models including HTD and classes of days in milk and age at calving as fixed effects and permanent environment and genetic as random effects were used. HTD solutions of studied traits obtained from these models were studied and presented large deviations (CV=17.54%, 8.93%, 4.68%, 15.51%, and 23.18% for milk yield, fat and protein content, MIR CH4 (g/d), and MIR CH4 (g/kg of milk), respectively) indicating differences among herds, especially for milk yield and CH4 traits. HTD means per month of milk yield and fat and protein contents presented similar patterns within year. The maximum of monthly HTD means corresponded to the spring (pastern release) for milk yield and to the winter for fat and protein contents. The minimum corresponded to the month of November for milk yield and to the summer for the other traits. For MIR CH4 (g/d), monthly HTD means showed similar patterns as fat and protein content within year. MIR CH4 (g/kg of milk) presented maximum values of monthly HTD means in November and minimum values in May. Finally, results of this study showed that HTD effects on milk production traits and on MIR CH4 emissions varied through herds and seasons. [less ▲]

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See detailHerd-test-day variability of methane emissions predicted from milk MIR spectra in Holstein cows
Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg; Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 64th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2013, August)

The aim of this study was to estimate the herd-test-day (HTD) effect on milk yield, fat and protein content, and methane (CH4) emissions of Walloon Holstein first-parity cows. A total of 412,520 test-day ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to estimate the herd-test-day (HTD) effect on milk yield, fat and protein content, and methane (CH4) emissions of Walloon Holstein first-parity cows. A total of 412,520 test-day records and milk mid-infrared (MIR) spectra of 69,223 cows in 1,104 herds were included in the data set. The prediction equation developed by Vanlierde et al. (Abstract submitted to EAAP 2013; R² of cross-validation=0.70) was applied on the recorded spectral data to predict CH4 emissions (g/d). Daily CH4 emissions expressed in g/kg of milk were computed by dividing CH4 emissions (g/d) by daily milk yield of cows. Several bivariate (a CH4 trait with a production trait) random regression test-day models including HTD and classes of days in milk and age at calving as fixed effects and permanent environment and genetic as random effects were used. HTD solutions of studied traits obtained from these models were studied and presented large deviations (CV=17.54%, 8.93%, 4.68%, 15.51%, and 23.18% for milk yield, fat and protein content, MIR CH4 (g/d), and MIR CH4 (g/kg of milk), respectively) indicating differences among herds, especially for milk yield and CH4 traits. HTD means per month of milk yield and fat and protein contents presented similar patterns within year. The maximum of monthly HTD means corresponded to the spring (pastern release) for milk yield and to the winter for fat and protein contents. The minimum corresponded to the month of November for milk yield and to the summer for the other traits. For MIR CH4 (g/d), monthly HTD means showed similar patterns as fat and protein content within year. MIR CH4 (g/kg of milk) presented maximum values of monthly HTD means in November and minimum values in May. Finally, results of this study showed that HTD effects on milk production traits and on MIR CH4 emissions varied through herds and seasons. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic effects of heat stress on milk yield and MIR predicted methane emissions of Holstein cows
Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 64th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2013, August)

Dairy cows both contribute to and are affected by climate change. Breeding for heat tolerance and reduced methane (CH4) emissions is a key requirement to mitigate interactions between dairy cows and ... [more ▼]

Dairy cows both contribute to and are affected by climate change. Breeding for heat tolerance and reduced methane (CH4) emissions is a key requirement to mitigate interactions between dairy cows and climate change. This study was aimed to estimate genetic variation of milk yield and CH4 emissions over the whole trajectory of temperature humidity index (THI) using a reaction norm approach. A total of 257,635 milk test-day (TD) records and milk mid-infrared (MIR) spectra from 51,782 Holstein cows were used. Data were collected between January 2007 and December 2010 in 983 herds by the Walloon Breeding Association (Ciney, Belgium). The calibration equation developed by Vanlierde et al. (Abstract submitted to EAAP 2013; R² of cross-validation=0.70) was applied on the spectral data in order to predict CH4 emissions values (g CH4/d). These values were divided by fat and protein corrected milk yield (FPCM) defining a new CH4 trait (g CH4/kg of FPCM). Daily THI values were calculated using the mean of daily values of dry bulb temperature and relative humidity from meteorological data. Mean daily THI of the previous 3 days before each TD record was used as the THI of reference for that TD. Bivariate (milk yield and a CH4 trait) random regression TD mixed models with random linear regressions on THI values were used. Estimated average daily heritability for milk yield was 0.17 and decreased slightly at extreme THI values. However, heritabilities of MIR CH4 traits increased as THI values increase: from 0.10 (THI=28) to 0.14 (THI=75) for MIR CH4 (g/d) and from 0.14 (THI=28) to 0.21 (THI=75) for MIR CH4 (g/kg of FCPM). Genetic correlations between milk yield and MIR CH4 (g/d) ranged from -0.09 (THI=28) to -0.12 (THI=75) and those between milk yield and MIR CH4 (g/kg of FPCM) from -0.75 (THI=28) to -0.71 (THI=75). These results showed that milk production and CH4 emissions of dairy cows seemed to be influenced by THI. [less ▲]

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See detailPhenotypic and genetic variability of methane emissions and milk fatty acid contents of Walloon Holstein dairy cows
Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg; Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

Poster (2013, February 07)

There is a growing interest in reducing methane (CH4) emissions from enteric fermentation of dairy cows because these emissions contribute to climate change and represent losses of gross energy intake for ... [more ▼]

There is a growing interest in reducing methane (CH4) emissions from enteric fermentation of dairy cows because these emissions contribute to climate change and represent losses of gross energy intake for cows. Milk fatty acid (FA) profile is influenced by rumen fermentations. The aim of this study was to estimate phenotypic and genetic variability of enteric CH4 emissions of dairy cows and FA contents of milk. CH4 emissions (g/d) and milk FA contents are predicted from milk mid-infrared (MIR) spectra based on calibration equations developed by Vanlierde et al. (2013) and Soyeurt et al. (2011), respectively. Data included 161,681 records from 22,642 cows in 489 herds. Genetic parameters of MIR CH4 emissions and 7 groups of FA contents in milk were estimated for Walloon Holstein cows in first parity using bivariate (CH4 emission with a FA trait) random regression test-day models. Saturated FA presented higher genetic correlations with MIR CH4 production than unsaturated FA (0.25 vs. 0.10). Genetic correlations with MIR CH4 emissions were higher for short-(SC) and medium-chain (MC) FA (0.24 and 0.23, respectively) than for long-chain (LC) FA (0.13). Phenotypic correlations between MIR CH4 emissions and SC and MC FA were also higher than those between MIR CH4 emissions and LC FA (0.20 vs. -0.08). Finally, results showed that MIR milk FA profile and MIR CH4 emissions are correlated emphasizing indirect link between milk FA and CH4 emissions through rumen metabolism. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters for methane emissions predicted from milk mid-infrared spectra in dairy cows
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Vanrobays, Marie-Laure ULg; Vanlierde, Amélie ULg et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2013), 95(E-1), 388

Genetic selection of low methane (CH4) emitting animals is additive and permanent but the difficulties associated with individual CH4 measurement result in a paucity of records required to estimate ... [more ▼]

Genetic selection of low methane (CH4) emitting animals is additive and permanent but the difficulties associated with individual CH4 measurement result in a paucity of records required to estimate genetic variability of CH4 traits. Recently, it was shown that direct quantification of CH4 emissions by mid-infrared spectroscopy (MIR) from milk. The CH4 prediction equation was developed using 452 SF6 CH4 measurements with associated milk spectra and the calibration equation was developed using PLS regression. The obtained SD of predicted CH4 was 126.39 g/day with standard error of cross validation 68.68 g/day and a cross-validation coefficient of determination equal to 70%. The equation was applied on a total of 338,917 spectra obtained from milk samples collected between January 2007 and August 2012 during the Walloon milk recording for first parity Holstein cows. The prediction of MIR CH4 was 547 ± 111 g/d and MIR CH4 g/kg of fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM) was 23.66 ± 8.21.Multi-trait random regression test-day models were used to estimate the genetic variability of MIR predicted CH4 and milk production traits. The heritability, phenotypic and genetic correlations between MIR predicted CH4 traits and milk traits are presented in Table 1. Estimated heritability for CH4 g/day and CH4 g/kg of FPCM were lower than common production traits but would still be useful in breeding programs. While selection for cows emitting lower amounts of MIR predicted CH4 (g/d) would have little effect on milk production traits, selection on MIR predicted CH4 (g/kg of FPCM) would decrease FPCM, fat and protein yields. These genetic parameters of CH4 indicator traits might be entry point for selection that accounts mitigation of CH4 from dairy farming. Table 1. Heritability (diagonal), phenotypic (below the diagonal) and genetic (above the diagonal) correlations between MIR predicted CH4 and production traits Traits MIR CH4 (g/d) MIR CH4 ((g/kg of FPCM) FPCM Fat yield Protein yield MIR CH4 (g/d) 0.11 0.42 0.03 0.19 0.04 MIR CH4 (g/kg of FPCM)0.59 0.18 -0.83 -0.72 -0.77 FPCM -0.02 -0.65 0.20 0.95 0.91 Fat yield 0.01 -0.58 0.76 0.22 0.70 Protein yield -0.01 -0.61 0.78 0.69 0.20 [less ▲]

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See detailRelationship between milk composition estimated from mid infrared and methane emissions in dairy cows
Kandel, Purna Bhadra ULg; Vanlierde, Amélie ULg; Dehareng, F et al

Scientific conference (2012, December 03)

N/A

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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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