Anders Christian Sørensen

Genetic gain in dairy cattle populations is increased using sexed semen in commercial herds

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Using stochastic simulation, the effect of using sexed semen to cow dams (CD) in a dairy cattle breeding scheme, with or without use of multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) to bull dams (BD), on annual genetic gain at the population level was examined. Three levels of sexed semen were combined with three levels of MOET: no sexed semen, sexed semen to the best CD and sexed semen to all heifers, combined with no MOET, MOET on all BD and MOET randomly on 20% of the BD. In total, nine scenarios were compared. The simulated population was monitored for 30 years and included 450 herds with 100 cows each. Each year 50 young bulls (YB), 10 active sires and 215 BD were selected on best linear unbiased prediction estimated breeding values by truncation selection across the simulated population, and the YB were tested within the population. Use of sexed semen alone gave a positive increase in the annual genetic gain of 2.1% when used on the best CD and 2.7% when used on all heifers, but only the latter was statistically significant. The increased annual genetic gain was caused by a larger contribution from the CD to the BD. Use of sexed semen together with MOET on BD increased the annual genetic gain by 1.8–2.5% compared with schemes without sexed semen and MOET on all BD. Performing MOET on all BD enables selection of offspring with high Mendelian deviations, which increase the annual genetic gain. Use of sexed semen decreased the genetic lag between the sires and the CD by 12–14% when used on the best CD and by 6% when used to all heifers. The decrease in the genetic lag is caused by the increased selection intensity of the cow dams
TidsskriftJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Sider (fra-til)267-275
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2011

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