Genetic variation in the production traits of Western Finncattle

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201903051413
Title: Genetic variation in the production traits of Western Finncattle
Author: Ajayi, Busayo
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201903051413
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/299949
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Biotekniikka (MAAT)
Biotechnology (MAAT)
Bioteknik (MAAT)
Abstract: The Finnish dairy cattle population has been subjected to systematic quantitative studies over decades. The Western Finncattle (WFC) has evolved over the last century with a production level comparable to other remaining local breeds in Europe. The heritability is used in designing the data collection and in predicting the changes expected from the selection and the variation parameters are used in constructing the economic selection indices genetic improvement scheme and in computing the bulls’ and cows’ breeding values. WFC has no recent studies on the genetic variation in milk production traits. The thesis research was set to estimate the heritability of milk, fat and protein yield, fat%, protein%, protein-fat ratio and somatic cell count (SCC) and the genetic correlation amongst them. Records from Western Finncattle primiparous cows calving in the period 2002–2016 were used for the genetic analyses. The raw data consisted of 5455 cows distributed across 2512 herds. The variance components were estimated with single and multi-trait animal model using a Bayesian approach and R studio package MCMCglmm. With requiring at least 5 cows in each herd-year subclass in the estimation, the data size was reduced to 1763 cows in 233 herds. The heritability of milk, protein and fat yield, protein%, fat% and SCC was in single (and in brackets for multi) trait analysis 0.36 (0.37), 027(0.30), 0.32 (0.30), 0.61(0.43), 0.52 (0.49) and 0.06 (0.15), respectively. Amongst yield traits and also between the content traits the genetic correlation was high, 0.73–0.94 and 0.43–0.59, respectively. The content traits (with milk yield in the denominator) had a negative genetic correlation with milk yield while no correlation with the protein and fat yield. There was an environmental correlation between content and yield traits for protein and fat. No correlations exist between SCC and other traits except an environmental correlation with milk yield and protein content. Despite the small population size of the WFC population, the effective population size is satisfactory and therefore no reduction in genetic variation is expected. Overall, the analysis on production traits and pedigree data shows that the Western Finncattle have much potential for genetic improvement.
Subject: yield traits
content traits
somatic cell count
Western Finncattle
heritability
genetic correlations


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