Genomic selection strategies in dairy cattle breeding programmes: Sexed semen cannot replace multiple ovulation and embryo transfer as superior reproductive technology

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The aim of this study was to test whether the use of X-semen in a dairy cattle population using genomic selection (GS) and multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) increases the selection intensity on cow dams and thereby the genetic gain in the entire population. Also, the dynamics of using different types of sexed semen (X, Y or conventional) in the nucleus were investigated. The stochastic simulation study partly supported the hypothesis as the genetic gain in the entire population was elevated when X-semen was used in the production population as GS exploited the higher selection intensity among heifers with great accuracy. However, when MOET was applied, the effect was considerably diminished as was the exchange of females between the nucleus and the production population, thus causing modest genetic profit from using X-sorted semen in the production population. In addition, the effect of using sexed semen on the genetic gain was very small compared with the effect of MOET and highly dependent on whether cow dams or bull dams were inseminated with sexed semen and on what type of semen that was used for the bull dams. The rate of inbreeding was seldom affected by the use of sexed semen. However, when all young bull candidates were born following MOET, the results showed that the use of Y-semen in the breeding nucleus tended to decrease the rate of inbreeding as it enabled GS to increase within-family selection. This implies that the benefit from using sexed semen in a modern dairy cattle breeding scheme applying both GS and MOET may be found in its beneficial effect on the rate of inbreeding
TidsskriftJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Sider (fra-til)152-163
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2012

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