Male reproductive performances are often ignored in cattle breeding programmes, although semen traits might be used to improve bull breeding soundness. Effects of genetic and environmental factors on semen production and quality traits were estimated in 693 Piemontese bulls with the aim of providing the first estimates of genetic parameters for semen traits for this breed. Volume and concentrations of individual ejaculates (up to three per each test-day), and volume, concentration, total number of spermatozoa and post-thawing progressive motility of within test-day pooled semen were available for 19 060 ejaculates. Bulls reached the maximum amount of daily semen production after their third year of age, with concentration rapidly increasing until 23 months of age, and then slowly decreasing. Semen volume was at its highest when collection days were at least 15 days apart, whereas the maximum concentration was reached when the interval was 6 days. Heritability estimates were generally moderate (0.14–0.26), and low for progressive motility (0.08). Estimates of genetic correlation among the volumes of the individual ejaculates were high and positive (≥0.79), as were the genetic correlations among their concentrations (≥0.46). Genetic correlations among volume and concentration traits varied from −0.47 (with a 95% high posterior density interval ranging from −0.65 to −0.23) to −0.32 (with a 95% high posterior density interval ranging from −0.55 to −0.09). Progressive motility was unrelated with the other traits, but moderately positively correlated with volumes of the second and third ejaculates. The magnitude of heritabilities showed that selection for semen traits is possible. However, the unfavourable relationship between volume and concentration must be taken into account if a future selection programme is to be established.

Estimates of non-genetic effects and genetic parameters for semen traits in Piemontese bulls

Bonfatti V.
;
Carnier P.
2021

Abstract

Male reproductive performances are often ignored in cattle breeding programmes, although semen traits might be used to improve bull breeding soundness. Effects of genetic and environmental factors on semen production and quality traits were estimated in 693 Piemontese bulls with the aim of providing the first estimates of genetic parameters for semen traits for this breed. Volume and concentrations of individual ejaculates (up to three per each test-day), and volume, concentration, total number of spermatozoa and post-thawing progressive motility of within test-day pooled semen were available for 19 060 ejaculates. Bulls reached the maximum amount of daily semen production after their third year of age, with concentration rapidly increasing until 23 months of age, and then slowly decreasing. Semen volume was at its highest when collection days were at least 15 days apart, whereas the maximum concentration was reached when the interval was 6 days. Heritability estimates were generally moderate (0.14–0.26), and low for progressive motility (0.08). Estimates of genetic correlation among the volumes of the individual ejaculates were high and positive (≥0.79), as were the genetic correlations among their concentrations (≥0.46). Genetic correlations among volume and concentration traits varied from −0.47 (with a 95% high posterior density interval ranging from −0.65 to −0.23) to −0.32 (with a 95% high posterior density interval ranging from −0.55 to −0.09). Progressive motility was unrelated with the other traits, but moderately positively correlated with volumes of the second and third ejaculates. The magnitude of heritabilities showed that selection for semen traits is possible. However, the unfavourable relationship between volume and concentration must be taken into account if a future selection programme is to be established.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3398171
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