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Estimation of genetic parameters and genome scan for 15 semen characteristics traits of Holstein bulls

Abstract : A QTL detection experiment was performed in French dairy cattle to search for QTL related to male fertility. Ten families, involving a total of 515 bulls, were phenotyped for ejaculated volume and sperm concentration, number of spermatozoa, motility, velocity, percentage of motile spermatozoa after thawing and abnormal spermatozoa. A set of 148 microsatellite markers were used to realize a genome scan. First, genetic parameters were estimated for all traits. Semen production traits were found to have moderate heritabilities (from 0.15 to 0.30) while some of the semen quality traits such as motility had high heritabilities (close to 0.60). Genetic correlations among traits showed negative relationships between volume and concentration and between volume and most quality traits such as motility or abnormal sperm while correlations between concentration and these traits were rather favourable. Percentages of abnormal sperm were negatively related to quality traits, especially with motility and velocity of spermatozoa. Three QTL related to abnormal sperm frequencies were significant at p < 0.01. In total, 11 QTL (p < 0.05) were detected. However, the number of QTL detected was within the range of expected false positives. Because of the lack of power to find QTL in this design further analyses are required to confirm these QTL.
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Tom Druet, Sebastien Fritz, Eli Sellem, B. Basso, O. Gerard, et al.. Estimation of genetic parameters and genome scan for 15 semen characteristics traits of Holstein bulls. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Wiley, 2009, 126 (4), pp.269-277. ⟨10.1111/j.1439-0388.2008.00788.x⟩. ⟨hal-02664188⟩

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