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See detailLinear and curvilinear effects of inbreeding on production traits for walloon Holstein cows
Croquet, Coraline; Mayeres, Patrick; Gillon, Alain ULg et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(1), 465-471

The nonlinear effects of inbreeding were studied by comparing linear and curvilinear regression models of phenotypic performances on inbreeding coefficients for production traits (milk, fat, and protein ... [more ▼]

The nonlinear effects of inbreeding were studied by comparing linear and curvilinear regression models of phenotypic performances on inbreeding coefficients for production traits (milk, fat, and protein yields) of Holstein cows in their first lactation. Three different regression models (linear, quadratic, and cubic) were introduced separately into a single-trait, single-lactation, random regression test-day model. The significance of the different regression coefficients was studied based on a t-test after estimation of error variances and covariances associated with the different regression coefficients. All of the tested regression coefficients were significantly different from 0. The traditional regression coefficients of milk, fat, and protein yields on inbreeding were, respectively, -22.10, -1.10, and -0.72 kg for Holstein cows in their first lactation. However, the estimates of 305-d production losses for various classes of animals based on inbreeding coefficients showed that the effect of inbreeding was not a linear function of the percentage of inbreeding. The 305-d milk yield loss profiles attributable to inbreeding, obtained by the various regression models, were different. However, for inbreeding coefficients between 0 and 10%, these differences were small. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst steps to model milk urea in a management perspective
Bastin, Catherine ULg; Gillon, Alain ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90 - Suppl 1

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See detailEstimation of heritability and genetic correlations for the major fatty acids in bovine milk
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Gillon, Alain ULg; Vanderick, Sylvie ULg et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(9), 4435-4442

The current cattle selection program for dairy cattle in the Walloon region of Belgium does not consider the relative content of the different fatty acids (FA) in milk. However, interest by the local ... [more ▼]

The current cattle selection program for dairy cattle in the Walloon region of Belgium does not consider the relative content of the different fatty acids (FA) in milk. However, interest by the local dairy industry in differentiated milk products is increasing. Therefore, farmers may be interested in selecting their animals based on the fat composition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of genetic selection to improve the nutritional quality of bovine milk fat. The heritabilities and correlations among milk yield, fat, protein, and major FA contents in milk were estimated. Heritabilities for FA in milk and fat ranged from 5 to 38%. The genetic correlations estimated among FA reflected the common origin of several groups of FA. Given these results, an index including FA contents with the similar metabolic process of production in the mammary gland could be used, for example, to increase the monounsaturated and conjugated fatty acids in milk. Moreover, the genetic correlations between the percentage of fat and the content of C14:0, C12:0, C16:0, and C18:0 in fat were −0.06, 0.55, 0.60, and 0.84, respectively. This result demonstrates that an increase in fat content is not directly correlated with undesirable changes in FA profile in milk for human health. Based on the obtained genetic parameters, a future selection program to improve the FA composition of milk fat could be initiated. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the DGAT1 K232A and variable number of tandem repeat polymorphisms in French dairy cattle.
Gautier, M.; Capitan, A.; Fritz, S. et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(6), 2980-8

A quantitative trait locus (QTL) underlying different milk production traits has been identified with a high significance threshold value in the genomic region containing the acylCoA:diacylglycerol ... [more ▼]

A quantitative trait locus (QTL) underlying different milk production traits has been identified with a high significance threshold value in the genomic region containing the acylCoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1) gene, in the 3 main French dairy cattle breeds: French Holstein, Normande, and Montbeliarde. Previous studies have confirmed that the K232A polymorphism in DGAT1 is responsible for a major QTL underlying several milk production traits in Holstein dairy cattle and several other bovine breeds. In this study, we estimate the frequency of the 2 alternative alleles, K and A, of the K232A polymorphism in French Holstein, Normande, and Montbeliarde breeds. Although the K allele segregates in French Holstein and Normande breeds with a similar effect on production traits, the existence of additional mutations contributing to the observed QTL effect is strongly suggested in both breeds by the existence of sires heterozygous at the QTL but homozygous at the K232A polymorphism. One allele at a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) locus in the 5' noncoding region of DGAT1 has been recently proposed as a putative causative variant. In our study, this marker was found to present a high mutation rate of 0.8% per gamete and per generation, making the allele diversity observed compatible with that expected under neutrality. Moreover, among the sires homozygous at the K232A polymorphism, no allele at the VNTR can fully explain their QTL status. Finally, no allele at the VNTR was found to be significantly associated with the fat percentage variation in the 3 breeds simultaneously after correction for the effect of the K232A polymorphism. Therefore, our results suggest the existence of at least one other causative polymorphism not yet described. Because the A allele is nearly fixed in the Montbeliarde breed, this breed represents an interesting model to identify and confirm other mutations that have a strong effect on milk production traits. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic diversity and joint-pedigree analysis of two importing Holstein populations.
Hammami, Hedi ULg; Croquet, Coraline; Stoll, Jean et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(7), 3530-41

Genetic diversity and relatedness between 2 geographically distant Holstein populations (in Luxembourg and Tunisia) were studied by pedigree analysis. These 2 populations have similar sizes and structures ... [more ▼]

Genetic diversity and relatedness between 2 geographically distant Holstein populations (in Luxembourg and Tunisia) were studied by pedigree analysis. These 2 populations have similar sizes and structures and are essentially importing populations. Edited pedigrees included 140,392 and 151,381 animals for Tunisia and Luxembourg, respectively. To partially account for pedigree completeness levels, a modified algorithm was used to compute inbreeding. The effective numbers of ancestors were derived from probabilities of gene origin for the 2 populations of cows born between 1990 and 2000. The 10 ancestors with the highest contributions to genetic diversity in the cow populations accounted for more than 32% of the genes. Eight of these 10 ancestors were the same in both populations. The rates of inbreeding were different in the 2 populations but were generally comparable to those found in the literature for the Holstein breed. Average inbreeding coefficients per year, estimated from the data, ranged from 0.91 and 0.50 in 1990 to 3.10 and 2.12 in 2000 for the Tunisian and Luxembourg populations, respectively. Genetic links have also strengthened with time. Average additive relationships between the 2 populations were as high as 2.2% in 2000. Results suggest that it would be possible to investigate genotype by environment interactions for milk traits using the Tunisian and Luxembourg dairy populations. [less ▲]

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See detailSampling genotype configurations in large complex pedigree
Szydlowski, M.; Gengler, Nicolas ULg

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(Suppl. 1), 668-668

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See detailGenetic variability of lactoferrin content estimated by mid-infrared spectrometry in bovine milk
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Colinet, Frédéric ULg; Arnould, Valérie ULg et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(9), 4443-4450

The effects of lactoferrin (LF) on the immune system have already been shown by many studies. Unfortunately, the current methods used to measure LF levels in milk do not permit the study of the genetic ... [more ▼]

The effects of lactoferrin (LF) on the immune system have already been shown by many studies. Unfortunately, the current methods used to measure LF levels in milk do not permit the study of the genetic variability of lactoferrin or the performance of routine genetic evaluations. The first aim of this research was to derive a calibration equation permitting the prediction of LF in milk by mid-infrared spectrometry (MIR). The calibration with partial least squares on 69 samples showed a ratio of standard error of cross-validation to standard deviation equal to 1.98. Based on this value, the calibration equation was used to establish an LF indicator trait (predicted LF; pLF) on a large number of milk samples (n = 7,690). A subsequent study of its variability was conducted, which confirmed that stage of lactation and lactation number influence the overall pLF level. Small differences in mean pLF among 7 dairy breeds were also observed. The pLF content of Jersey milk was significantly higher than that in Holstein milk. Therefore, the choice of breed could change the expected LF level. Heritability estimated for pLF was 19.7%. The genetic and phenotypic correlations between somatic cell score and pLF were 0.04 and 0.26, respectively. As somatic cell score increases in presence of mastitis, this observation seems to indicate that pLF, or a function of observed pLF, compared with expected LF might have potential as an indicator of mastitis. The negative genetic correlation (−0.36) between milk yield and pLF could indicate an undesirable effect of selection for high milk production on the overall LF level. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection and use of single gene effects in large animal populations
Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Abras, S.; Szydlowski, M. et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(Suppl. 1), 376-376

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See detailProlactin-induced activation of nuclear factor kappa B in bovine mammary epithelial cells: Role in chronic mastitis
Boutet, Philippe ULg; Sulon, Joseph ULg; Closset, R. et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(1), 155-164

We sought to determine whether prolactin (PRL) could influence the neutrophilic inflammation that characterizes chronic mastitis. Most of the genes encoding inflammatory proteins depend on the nuclear ... [more ▼]

We sought to determine whether prolactin (PRL) could influence the neutrophilic inflammation that characterizes chronic mastitis. Most of the genes encoding inflammatory proteins depend on the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) for their expression. We addressed the hypothesis that immunomodulatory activities of PRL might arise from an increase in NF-kappa B activity. MAC-T cells, a bovine mammary epithelial cell line, were stimulated with increasing concentrations of bovine PRL ( 1, 5, 25, 125, and 1,000 ng/mL). Level of NF-kappa B binding activity was measured and mRNA was evaluated for IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF), IFN-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, cytokines known to require NF-kappa B for their maximal transcription. Prolactin activated NF-kappa B; maximal NF-kappa B activation was weaker with PRL than with TNF-alpha at 30 or 180 min poststimulation. In addition, PRL significantly amplified, in a dose-dependent manner, mRNA expression of IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, GMCSF, and TNF-a. We measured PRL concentrations in blood and milk from healthy and chronic mastitis-infected cows, and studied the relationship between the PRL concentration and the degree of inflammation in the mammary gland as indirectly assessed by somatic cell counts (SCC). Plasma PRL did not differ significantly between healthy and chronic mastitis-affected cows (63.7 and 67.5 ng/mL, respectively). Milk PRL concentration was significantly increased in chronic mastitis-affected quarters with the highest SCC, and had a positive significant correlation between SCC, as well as between the number of neutrophils present in milk samples. The present findings show that PRL promotes an inflammatory response in bovine mammary epithelial cells via NF-kappa B activation, and suggest a role for PRL in the pathogenesis of chronic mastitis. [less ▲]

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See detailShort communication: Genetic evaluation of milking speed for brown Swiss dairy cattle in the United States
Wiggans, G. R.; Thornton, L. L. M.; Neitzel, R. R. et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(2), 1021-1023

Genetic parameters and relative breeding values were estimated for milking speed of US Brown Swiss dairy cattle. Owner-recorded milking-speed scores on a scale of 1 (slow) to 8 (fast) were collected by ... [more ▼]

Genetic parameters and relative breeding values were estimated for milking speed of US Brown Swiss dairy cattle. Owner-recorded milking-speed scores on a scale of 1 (slow) to 8 (fast) were collected by the Brown Swiss Association as part of its linear type appraisal program starting in 2004. Data were 7,366 records for 6,666 cows in 393 herds. The pedigree file included information for 21,458 animals born in 1985 or later. Six unknown-parent groups that each included 4 birth years were defined. The model included fixed effects for herd appraisal date and parity-lactation stage and random effects for permanent environment, animal, and error. Within parity (1, 2, and >= 3), 6 groups were defined: unknown calving date, four 90-d lactation stages, and lactations with > 400 d in milk. Heritability of 0.22 and repeatability of 0.42 were estimated by average-information REML; residual variance was 1.13. Little trend in estimated breeding value was found for cows born from 1999 through 2002. Although solutions increased with lactation stage for first-parity cows by 0.37, no clear trend was found for later parities. Genetic evaluations for milking speed were expressed as relative breeding values with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 5. The 121 bulls with >= 10 daughters had milking speed evaluations that ranged from 83 to 112 and had correlations of 0.56 with productive life evaluations and -0.40 with somatic cell score evaluations. The association of faster milking speed with lower somatic cell score was not expected. The moderate heritability found for milking speed indicates that the evaluations (first released in May 2006) should be useful in detecting bulls with slow-milking daughters. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating fatty acid content in cow milk using mid-infrared spectrometry
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Dardenne, Pierre; Dehareng, Frédéric et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(9), 3690-3695

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See detailInbreeding depression for global and partial economic indexes, production, type, and functional traits
Croquet, Coraline; Mayeres, Patrick; Gillon, Alain ULg et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(6), 2257-2267

The objective of this research was to examine the effects of inbreeding in the population of Holstein cattle in the Walloon region of Belgium. The effects of inbreeding on the global economic index and ... [more ▼]

The objective of this research was to examine the effects of inbreeding in the population of Holstein cattle in the Walloon region of Belgium. The effects of inbreeding on the global economic index and its components were studied by using data from the genetic evaluations of February 2004 for production, somatic cell score (SCS), computed from somatic cell counts and type. Inbreeding coefficients for 956,516 animals were computed using a method that allows assigning an inbreeding coefficient to individuals without known parents. These coefficients were equal to the mean inbreeding coefficient of contemporary individuals with known parents. The significance of inbreeding effects on the different evaluated traits and on the different indexes were tested using a t-test comparing estimated standard errors and effects. The inbreeding effect was significantly different from zero for the vast majority of evaluated traits and for all of the indexes. Inbreeding had the greatest deleterious effects on production traits. Inbreeding decreased yield of milk, fat, and protein during a lactation by 19.68, 0.96, and 0.69 kg, respectively, per each 1% increase in inbreeding. The regression coefficient of SCS per 1% increase in inbreeding was +0.005 SCS units. The inbreeding depression was thus relatively low for SCS, but inbred animals had higher SCS than non-inbred animals, indicating that inbred animals would be slightly more sensitive to mastitis than non-inbred animals. Estimates of inbreeding effects on evaluated type traits per 1% increase were small. The most strongly affected type traits were chest width, rear leg, and overall development on a standardized scale. For several type traits, particularly traits linked to the udder, the estimates suggested a favorable effect of inbreeding. The global economic index was depressed by around 6.13 Euro of lifetime profit per 1% increase in inbreeding for the Holstein animals in the Walloon region of Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailVariation in fatty acid contents of milk and milk fat within and across breeds
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Dardenne, Pierre; Gillon, Alain ULg et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(12), 4858-4865

The aim of this research was to study the potential for selection of cows with a higher nutritional quality of milk fat by studying the differences in fatty acid profiles within and across the following ... [more ▼]

The aim of this research was to study the potential for selection of cows with a higher nutritional quality of milk fat by studying the differences in fatty acid profiles within and across the following breeds: Dual Purpose Belgian Blue, Holstein-Friesian, Jersey, Montbeliarde, and non-Holstein Meuse-Rhine-Yssel type Red and White. Six hundred milk samples from 275 animals were taken from 7 herds. Several types of fatty acids in milk and milk fat were quantified using midinfrared spectrometry and previously obtained calibration equations. Statistical analyses were made using a mixed linear model with a random animal effect. The variance components were estimated by using REML. Results showed breed differences for the fatty acid profile. The repeatability estimate obtained in the present study may suggest the existence of moderate additive genetic variance for the fatty acid profile within each breed. Results also indicated variation for each analyzed milk component in the whole cow population studied. Genetic improvement of the nutritional quality of milk fat based on fatty acid profiles might be possible, and further research and development are warranted. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of genetic parameters for quantitative trait loci for dairy traits in the French Holstein population.
Druet, Tom ULg; Fritz, S.; Boichard, D. et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(10), 4070-6

A marker-assisted selection program (MAS) has been implemented in dairy cattle in France. The efficiency of such a selection program depends on the use of correct genetic parameters for the marked ... [more ▼]

A marker-assisted selection program (MAS) has been implemented in dairy cattle in France. The efficiency of such a selection program depends on the use of correct genetic parameters for the marked quantitative trait loci (QTL). Therefore, the objective of this study was to estimate the proportion of genetic variance explained by 4 QTL described in previous studies (these QTL are segregating on chromosomes 6, 14, 20, and 26). Genotypes for 11 markers were available for 3,974 bulls grouped within 54 sire families of the French Holstein population undergoing MAS. The parameters were estimated for 4 QTL and 5 dairy traits: milk, fat and protein yields, and fat and protein percentages. The proportion of genetic variance explained by the QTL ranged from as low as 0.03 to 0.36%. Both lack of marker informativity and poor monitoring of QTL transmission might limit the accuracy of estimation. The QTL explained a larger proportion of genetic variance for milk composition traits. The QTL on chromosome 14 and chromosomes 6 and 20 have their largest influence on fat and protein percentages, respectively. The overall proportions of genetic variance explained by the QTL were 27.0, 30.7, 24.1, 48.2, and 33.6% for milk, fat and protein yields, and fat and protein percentages, respectively. These results clearly indicated that a large part of the genetic variance is explained by a small number of QTL and that their use in MAS might be beneficial for dairy cattle breeding programs. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of genetic correlations among countries in international dairy sire evaluations with structural models.
Leclerc, H.; Minery, S.; Delaunay, I. et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(5), 1792-803

The increase in the number of participating countries and the lack of genetic ties between some countries has lead to statistical and computational difficulties in estimating the genetic (co)variance ... [more ▼]

The increase in the number of participating countries and the lack of genetic ties between some countries has lead to statistical and computational difficulties in estimating the genetic (co)variance matrix needed for international sire evaluation of milk yield and other traits. Structural models have been proposed to reduce the number of parameters to estimate by exploiting patterns in the genetic correlation matrix. Genetic correlations between countries are described as a simple function of unspecified country characteristics that can be mapped in a space of limited dimensions. Two link functions equal to the exponential of minus the Euclidian distance between the coordinates of two countries and the exponential of minus the square of this Euclidian distance were used for the study on international simulated and field data. On simulated data, it was shown that structural models might allow an easier estimation of genetic correlations close to the border of the parameter space. This is not always possible with an unstructured model. On milk yield data, genetic correlations obtained from 22 countries for structural models based on 2 and 7 dimensions, respectively, were analyzed. Only a structural model with a large number of axes gave reasonable estimates of genetic correlations compared with correlations obtained for an unstructured model: 76.7% of correlations deviated by less than 0.030. Such a model reduces the number of parameters from 231 genetic correlations to 126 coordinates. On foot angle data, large deviations were observed between genetic correlations estimated with an unstructured model and correlations estimated with a structural model, regardless of the number of axes taken into account. [less ▲]

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See detailMathematical model of the acute inflammatory response to Escherichia coli in intramammary challenge
Detilleux, Johann ULg; Vangroenweghe, F.; Burvenich, C.

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(9), 3455-3465

We constructed a mathematical model of the early response to Escherichia coli infection of the mammary gland and explored the roles and interactions between inflammatory cells and bacteria. The model ... [more ▼]

We constructed a mathematical model of the early response to Escherichia coli infection of the mammary gland and explored the roles and interactions between inflammatory cells and bacteria. The model incorporates 3 equations that describe the interactions among bacteria, milk somatic cells, and blood leukocyte densities. These 3 equations were fitted to cell densities observed during acute inflammatory responses in unvaccinated and vaccinated heifers inoculated with 10(4) or 10(6) cfu of E. coli. The rates computed for the cellular transit from the storage sites to the blood and from the blood to the milk were lower in cows receiving 10(4) cfu but increased at approximately 6 x 10(-6) and 30 x 10(-6) microL/cfu per h in nonvaccinated or vaccinated cows inoculated with 10(6) cfu, respectively. The cellular rates of bacterial killing were highest in unvaccinated cows ( approximately 400 x 10(-6) microL/cell per h) when compared with vaccinated cows (200 to 300 x 10(-6) microL/cell per h). A critical density of milk somatic cells at which bacteria density is constant was computed from the model at 2 x 10(6) cells/mL, and a one-way sensitivity analysis revealed that the changes in milk cellular densities were mostly sensitive to variations in the rate of bacterial killing and in the rate of production of inflammatory cells. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters and evaluation of rear legs (rear view) for Brown Swiss and Guernseys
Wiggans, G. R.; Thornton, L. L. M.; Neitzel, R. R. et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(12), 4895-4900

Genetic parameters were estimated for rear legs (rear view; RLRV) and 15 current linear type traits of Brown Swiss and Guernsey dairy cattle. The Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders' Association of the USA and ... [more ▼]

Genetic parameters were estimated for rear legs (rear view; RLRV) and 15 current linear type traits of Brown Swiss and Guernsey dairy cattle. The Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders' Association of the USA and the American Guernsey Association began scoring RLRV in 2004. For Brown Swiss, 8,502 records were available for 7,676 cows in 417 herds; Guernsey data included 5,437 records for 4,749 cows in 229 herds. Nine unknown-parent groups were defined for each breed, each with 2 birth years. The model included fixed effects for the interaction of herd, appraisal date, and parity; appraisal age within parity; and lactation stage within parity and random effects for animal, permanent environment, and residual error. The multitrait analysis for RLRV and the 15 linear type traits used canonical transformation, multiple diagonalization, and a decelerated expectation-maximization REML algorithm. For Brown Swiss, heritability was 0.102 for RLRV and ranged from 0.099 for rear legs (side view) to 0.453 for stature. For Guernseys, heritability ranged from 0.078 for RLRV to 0.428 for stature. For Brown Swiss, the highest genetic correlation with RLRV was 0.71 for rear udder width; the most negative correlation was -0.19 with rump angle. For Guernseys, the highest genetic correlations with RLRV were 0.43 for rear udder width and 0.42 for body depth; the most negative correlation was -0.46 with rear legs (side view). With heritability near 0.10, RLRV should be useful in selection for improved locomotion. Release of genetic evaluations for RLRV began in May 2006 for Brown Swiss and Guernseys. [less ▲]

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See detailAccounting for heterogeneous variances in multitrait evaluation of Jersey type traits
Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Wiggans, G. R.; Thornton, L. L. M. et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(8), 3143-3151

The multitrait genetic evaluation system for type traits was modified to estimate adjustments for heterogeneous variance (HV) simultaneously with estimated breeding values (EBV) for final score and 14 ... [more ▼]

The multitrait genetic evaluation system for type traits was modified to estimate adjustments for heterogeneous variance (HV) simultaneously with estimated breeding values (EBV) for final score and 14 linear traits. Each variance within herd, year, and parity was regressed toward a predicted variance, which was determined by fitting a model with fixed effects of the mean final score for herd, size of the contemporary group, appraisal month, and year-season and a random effect for herd-appraisal date. Herd-appraisal date was included as a random effect to regress the observed heterogeneity for a given herd-appraisal date toward the fixed effects. Method R was used to estimate variances for the heterogeneity model in each EBV iteration. To evaluate the effect of the adjustment, parent averages were calculated from evaluations with recent appraisals removed. The adjustment slightly improved correlations within birth year between those parent averages and EBV from current data on bulls for most traits, but did not improve correlations for final score, strength, dairy form, teat length, or foot angle. Annual trends for EBV were lower with HV adjustment than for unadjusted EBV for all traits except final score and rump angle for cows and rump width for bulls, which were essentially unchanged. Standard deviations of Mendelian sampling (evaluation minus mean of parent evaluations) declined less over time for HV-adjusted than for unadjusted evaluations. The slope at year 2000 of Mendelian-sampling standard deviations from HV-adjusted evaluations ranged from 10.0% for udder depth to 42.7% for teat length compared with the slope for unadjusted evaluations. This HV adjustment, which was implemented for USDA evaluations in May 2001 for Jerseys and in 2002 for other breeds, improves the accuracy of evaluations, particularly comparisons over time, by accounting for the change in variation. [less ▲]

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See detailAdjustment for heterogeneous covariance due to herd milk yield by transformation of test-day random regressions
Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Wiggans, George; Gillon, Alain ULg

in Journal of Dairy Science (2005), 88

A method of accounting for differences in covariance components of test-day milk records was developed based on transformation of regressions for random effects. Preliminary analysis indicated that ... [more ▼]

A method of accounting for differences in covariance components of test-day milk records was developed based on transformation of regressions for random effects. Preliminary analysis indicated that genetic and nongenetic covariance structures differed by herd milk yield. Differences were found for phenotypic covariances and also for genetic, permanent environmental, and herd-time covariances. Heritabilities for test-day milk yield tended to be lower at the end and especially at the start of lactation; they also were higher (maximum of ∼25%) for high-yield herds and lower (maximum of 15%) for low-yield herds. Permanent environmental variances were on average 10% lower in highyield herds. Relative herd-time variances were ∼10% at start of lactation and then began to decrease regardless of herd yield; high-yield herds increased in midlactation followed by another decrease, and medium-yield herds increased at the end of lactation. Regressors for random regression effects were transformed to adjust for heterogeneity of test-day yield covariances. Some animal reranking occurred because of this transformation of genetic and permanent environmental effects. When genetic correlations between environments were allowed to differ from 1, some additional animal reranking occurred. Correlations of variances of genetic and permanent-environmental regression solutions within herd, test-day, and milking frequency class with class mean milk yields were reduced with adjustment for heterogeneous covariance. The method suggests a number of innovative solutions to issues related to heterogeneous covariance structures, such as adjusted estimates in multibreed evaluation. [less ▲]

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See detailStandard errors of solutions in large scale mixed models, application to linear and curvilinear effects of inbreeding on production traits.
Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Croquet, C.

in Journal of Dairy Science (2005), 88(Suppl. 1), 74-74

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