Lactational persistency has not been selected for in New Zealand dairy populations. Existing milk production data and pedigrees from New Zealand Holstein-Friesian cattle at pasture, recorded in the Livestock Improvement Corporation database were utilized with a grand-daughter design, for a genome-wide search for a quantitative trait locus for persistency of lactation. Persistency was defined as a weighted sum of test-day yields. A significant region was identified in one grandsire family on Chromosome 3 at microsatellite marker position AGLA247 (chromosomal position 67cM; P <0.05). To verify this result, data from a research dairy herd defining persistency as the mean of three weekly tests of daily yield in March (late lactation) divided by the equivalent daily yields in October (early lactation)) for three seasons beginning in 1997/98 were used in a phenotypic association study on Chromosome 3 only. One allele of marker HUJ246, close to the original region appeared to show an additive effect. The maximal difference between this genotype and the others at this marker locus was 12.3 ± 4.4% of the mean persistency. The potential use of this marker in the New Zealand dairy cattle population depends on the current allele frequencies in the industry.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 68, Brisbane, Australia, 107-110, 2008
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