For her doctoral dissertation, Research Scientist Nina Schulman from MTT Agrifood Research Finland has identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting milk production, fertility and health traits in Finnish Ayrshire cattle, and evaluated the extent to which the use of QTL information, or marker-assisted selection (MAS), might improve dairy cattle breeding.
GENES STILL IN HIDING
Traditional dairy cattle breeding is founded on production information and other phenotype information collected from animals. The greater the volume of genealogical information available, the more accurate the evaluation that can be made of an animal’s breeding value. Evaluation based on offspring, the progeny test, is an efficient, if slow method of acquiring reliable information on the bull genome. Progeny test information for a young bull is only obtained five years after the onset of semination.
The breeder’s dream is to be able to study animal genes and decide from them directly which individuals are worth selecting as parents of the future generation. Variations in the genomic loci present in the DNA of chromosomes, known as markers, can be employed in the monitoring of gene inheritance.
From the available material on 12 parent bulls and their 493 sons, Nina Schulman’s research identified which QTL are connected with particular economically important traits. Twelve different traits were studied: milk yield, protein yield, protein content, fat yield, fat content, somatic cell score (SCS), mastitis treatments, other veterinary treatments, days open, fertility treatments, non-return rate, and calf mortality. Approximately 150 different markers from 29 chromosomes were typed in the whole genome scans performed on Finnish Ayrshire bulls.
MARKERS ACCELERATE BREEDING
A total of fourteen QTL affecting milk production were detected. Research results included interesting QTL affecting protein and fat yield, and mastitis and fertility.
The second part of the dissertation centred on investigation of the use of genetic markers in the breeding scheme. Research simulated how the selection of animals on the basis of genetic markers would have succeeded in comparison to selection based on the traditional evaluation.
In simulating marker-assisted selection Schulman observed that genetic response was faster with MAS than with traditional selection.
The results of the simulation study demonstrate that marker-assisted selection, combined with embryo transfer, offers a viable alternative to conventional selection by increasing genetic response. In this way young bulls can be preselected within families on the basis of marker information, employing evaluation using offspring information only for the best animals.
Ulla Jauhiainen | alfa
Back to Nature: Palm oil plantations are being turned back into protected rainforest
21.03.2019 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
The inner struggle of the evening primrose: Chloroplasts are caught up in an evolutionary arms race
14.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie
Flexible, organic and printed electronics conquer everyday life. The forecasts for growth promise increasing markets and opportunities for the industry. In Europe, top institutions and companies are engaged in research and further development of these technologies for tomorrow's markets and applications. However, access by SMEs is difficult. The European project SmartEEs - Smart Emerging Electronics Servicing works on the establishment of a European innovation network, which supports both the access to competences as well as the support of the enterprises with the assumption of innovations and the progress up to the commercialization.
It surrounds us and almost unconsciously accompanies us through everyday life - printed electronics. It starts with smart labels or RFID tags in clothing, we...
The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.
Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.
Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
25.04.2019 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2019 | Earth Sciences
25.04.2019 | Life Sciences