最新論文抄録


  • Grape seed oil in the diet of primiparous Jersey cows before and after parturition: effects on performance, health, rumen environment, and milk quality

    Trop Anim Health Prod. 2024 Jul 12;56(6):202. doi: 10.1007/s11250-024-04064-1.

    ABSTRACT

    The objective of the study was to determine whether adding grape seed oil (GSO) to the diet of primiparous Jersey breeds during the transition period would improve animal health by measuring effects on the rumen environment, serum biochemistry, oxidative response, and the composition and quality of milk. We used 14 Jersey heifers, weighing an average of 430 kg and 240 days of gestation. The animals were divided into two groups and offered a basal diet, including GSO in the concentrate for the GSO group (dose of 25 mL per animal day) and the same dose of soybean oil (SO) for the control group. The animals were allocated and maintained in a compost barn system, receiving an anionic diet (pre-partum) and a diet for postpartum lactating animals. Dry matter intake (DMI), milk production, serum biochemistry, serum and milk oxidative stability, ruminal fluid and milk fatty acid profile, milk qualitative aspects, and ruminal parameters such as pH, bacterial activity, and protozoan count were evaluated. The addition of GSO had a positive effect on the health of the cows, especially on the oxidative stability of the cows, by increasing total thiols (P = 0.03), higher plasma ferric reducing capacity (FRAP) (P = 0.01), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) (P = 0.01). In the oxidative stability of the milk produced by the treated animals, there was also an increase in TAC (P = 0.05) and FRAP (P = 0.03). Discreet changes were observed in the ruminal environment with a decreasing trend in pH (P = 0.04) but an increase in bacterial activity (P = 0.05) and protozoa counts (P = 0.07) in cows that consumed the additive. GSO consumption affected the fatty acid profile in milk, increasing saturated fatty acids (SFA) (P = 0.05) and reducing unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) (P = 0.03). The oil did not affect milk production or efficiency in the postpartum period. Based on this information, it is concluded that the addition of GSO positively affects the cow’s antioxidant system.

    PMID:38992295 | DOI:10.1007/s11250-024-04064-1

  • Proteomic profile in plasma as a biomarker of pregnancy in cows

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jul;59(7):e14667. doi: 10.1111/rda.14667.

    ABSTRACT

    Pregnancy has its own protein dynamics, reflecting the hormonal profile. Quantitative and qualitative changes in plasma protein profile may provide useful information about this condition. Any alterations may be a signal heralding clinical or subclinical pathology. The objective of our study was to compare the plasma protein profile between selected months of pregnancy in cows for a better understanding gestation course. For this purpose, we collected blood from healthy pregnant (n = 30; n = 6 for each pregnancy stage) and non-pregnant (C; n = 6) Holstein-Friesian cows during a routine veterinary examination. Collected samples were selected according to pregnancy month (first, second, third, sixth, and ninth), prepared, and separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis. The Delta-2D program compared and statistically evaluated scanned gel images from the appropriate months. The mean volume of the spots was considered. The MALDI TOF/TOF spectrometer was used to identify statistically significant proteins. There were 11 distinct proteins found, including peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase F, oligoribonuclease, and PRELI domain-containing protein 3B (all of them have the lowest abundance in the C group), alpha-1B-glycoprotein, L-gulonolactone oxidase, hemopexin (first month with higher abundance than control), alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein (significantly higher abundance in the first month than in remaining groups), ermin (absent in the first month and lower abundance in the third and sixth months than in the remaining groups and control), endophilin-A2 (significant differences between the control and the second, third, sixth, and ninth months), apolipoprotein A-I (significant difference between control and the first and sixth months), alpha-1-antiproteinase (significant difference between control and the ninth month). The study demonstrated the distinctions between plasma protein composition and alterations during the pregnancy course which may potentially serve as diagnostic tools.

    PMID:38988253 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14667

  • Serum macroelements and microelements levels in periparturient dairy cows in relation to fatty liver diseases

    BMC Vet Res. 2024 Jul 6;20(1):295. doi: 10.1186/s12917-024-04121-9.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: Fatty liver in dairy cows is a common metabolic disease defined by triglyceride (TG) buildup in the hepatocyte. Clinical diagnosis of fatty liver is usually done by liver biopsy, causing considerable economic losses in the dairy industry owing to the lack of more effective diagnostic methods. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the potential utility of blood biomarkers for the diagnosis and early warning of fatty liver in dairy cows.

    RESULTS: A total of twenty-four lactating cows within 28 days after parturition were randomly selected as experimental animals and divided into healthy cows (liver biopsy tested, n = 12) and cows with fatty liver (liver biopsy tested, n = 12). Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to determine the macroelements and microelements in the serum of two groups of cows. Compared to healthy cows (C), concentrations of calcium (Ca), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), strontium (Sr), selenium (Se), manganese (Mn), boron (B) and molybdenum (Mo) were lower and copper (Cu) was higher in fatty liver cows (F). Meanwhile, the observed differences in macroelements and microelements were related to delivery time, with the greatest major disparity between C and F occurring 7 days after delivery. Multivariable analysis was used to test the correlation between nine serum macroelements, microelements and fatty liver. Based on variable importance projection and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, minerals Ca, Se, K, B and Mo were screened as the best diagnostic indicators of fatty liver in postpartum cows.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggested that serum levels of Ca, K, Mg, Se, B, Mo, Mn, and Sr were lower in F than in C. The most suitable period for an early-warning identification of fatty liver in cows was 7 days after delivery, and Ca, Se, K, B and Mo were the best diagnostic indicators of fatty liver in postpartum cows.

    PMID:38971753 | PMC:PMC11227133 | DOI:10.1186/s12917-024-04121-9

  • Effects of a blood-free mosquito diet on fitness and gonotrophic cycle parameters of laboratory reared Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto

    Parasit Vectors. 2024 Jul 6;17(1):289. doi: 10.1186/s13071-024-06345-y.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: The current rise of new innovative tools for mosquito control, such as the release of transgenic mosquitoes carrying a dominant lethal gene and Wolbachia-based strategies, necessitates a massive production of mosquitoes in the insectary. However, currently laboratory rearing depends on vertebrate blood for egg production and maintenance. This practice raises ethical concerns, incurs logistical and cost limitations, and entails potential risk associated with pathogen transmission and blood storage. Consequently, an artificial blood-free diet emerges as a desirable alternative to address these challenges. This study aims to evaluate the effects of a previously formulated artificial blood-free diet (herein referred to as BLOODless) on Anopheles gambiae (An. gambiae s.s.; IFAKARA) gonotrophic parameters and fitness compared with bovine blood.

    METHODS: The study was a laboratory-based comparative evaluation of the fitness, fecundity and fertility of An. gambiae s.s. (IFAKARA) reared on BLOODless versus vertebrate blood from founder generation (F0) to eighth generation (F8). A total of 1000 female mosquitoes were randomly selected from F0, of which 500 mosquitoes were fed with bovine blood (control group) and the other 500 mosquitoes were fed with BLOODless diet (experimental group). The feeding success, number of eggs per female, hatching rate and pupation rate were examined post-feeding. Longevity and wing length were determined as fitness parameters for adult male and female mosquitoes for both populations.

    RESULTS: While blood-fed and BLOODless-fed mosquitoes showed similar feeding success, 92.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 89.7-94.9] versus 93.6% (95% CI 90.6-96.6), respectively, significant differences emerged in their reproductive parameters. The mean number of eggs laid per female was significantly higher for blood-fed mosquitoes (P < 0.001) whereas BLOODless-fed mosquitoes had significantly lower hatching rates [odds ratio (OR) 0.17, 95% CI 0.14-0.22, P < 0.001]. Wing length and longevity were similar between both groups.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the potential of the BLOODless diet as a viable and ethical alternative to vertebrate blood feeding for rearing An. gambiae s.s. This breakthrough paves the way for more efficient and ethical studies aimed at combating malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

    PMID:38971773 | PMC:PMC11227146 | DOI:10.1186/s13071-024-06345-y

  • Effect of harvesting strategy of second-cut orchardgrass silage on feed intake, digestion, and milk production in dairy cows

    Anim Sci J. 2024 Jan-Dec;95(1):e13976. doi: 10.1111/asj.13976.

    ABSTRACT

    We investigated the effects of regrowth interval and first-cut timing on the dietary characteristics of second-cut orchardgrass silage and feed intake and milk production in dairy cows fed second-cut orchardgrass silage. The second-cut grasses were harvested 7w after the first-cut at the early stage (E7w) or at the heading stage (H7w), or harvested 6w after the first-cut at the early stage (E6w) from orchardgrass sward, and then ensiled. We evaluated the effect of regrowth interval by comparing E7w and E6w, and the effect of first-cut timing by comparing E7w and H7w. Six multiparous Holstein cows were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design, with three dietary treatments: diets containing E7w, E6w, or H7w silage at 30% dietary dry matter. We observed that feeding E6w silage instead of E7w silage increased fiber digestibility, dry matter intake, and milk production; however, the first-cut timing (E7w vs. H7w) did not affect nutrient content and digestibility, feed intake, or lactation performance. These results show that harvesting at short regrowth intervals for second-cut orchardgrass can be an effective strategy for improving feed utilization and milk yield; however, the first-cut timing for second-cut orchardgrass has little impact.

    PMID:38967066 | DOI:10.1111/asj.13976

  • Effects of supplementation of grazing Nellore cows with β-carotene and vitamins A + D3 + E + biotin on follicle diameter, oestrus, establishment of pregnancy, and foetal morphometry

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jul;59(7):e14660. doi: 10.1111/rda.14660.

    ABSTRACT

    The objectives of this experiment were to evaluate the effects of supplementation of Nellore (Bos indicus) cows with β-carotene + vitamins A + D3 + E + biotin on body condition score (BCS), oestrus, pregnancy, and foetal morphometry. Lactating cows (n = 497) from two herds were balanced for BCS and calving period [early calving (EC); late calving (LC)] and were assigned randomly to: Control (n = 251)-supplementation with a mineral supplement; and SUP (n = 246)-supplementation with the mineral supplement fed to control + β-carotene (150 mg/day) + vitamin A (40,000 IU/day) + vitamin D3 (5000 IU/day) + vitamin E (300 mg/day) + biotin (20 mg/day). Cows were supplemented from Days -30 to 30 (Day 0 = timed artificial insemination; TAI). Pregnancy was diagnosed 30 days after TAI and foetal crown-rump distance and thoracic diameter were measured at 30 and 77 days of gestation. Cows in the SUP treatment were more likely to have BCS ≥3.0 on Day 0 (63.0 ± 3.1 vs. 60.2 ± 3.1; p < .01) and were more likely to gain BCS from Days -30 to 30 (57.7 ± 3.3 vs. 44.1 ± 3.3%; p < .01). Fewer LC cows in the SUP treatment were detected in oestrus at the time of the first TAI (Control: LC: 75.4 ± 4.4 vs. SUP: LC: 64.0 ± 5.2 vs. Control: EC: 65.3 ± 4.0 vs. SUP: EC: 71.8 ± 3.7; p = .04). There was a tendency for the SUP treatment to increase pregnancy to the first TAI (64.2 ± 3.0 vs. 56.6 ± 3.1%; p = .08). A greater percentage of SUP cows was detected in oestrus at the time of the second TAI (70.1 ± 5.0 vs. 52.3 ± 4.8%; p = .01). The SUP treatment increased pregnancy to the second TAI among LC cows (SUP: LC: 75.9 ± 8.0% vs. Control: LC: 50.0 ± 8.3% vs. Control: EC: 52.0 ± 5.9% vs. SUP: EC: 41.4 ± 6.5%; p = .02). The SUP treatment increased foetal size (crown-rump; p = .04 and thoracic diameter; p < .01) at 30 days of gestation and, despite decreasing crow-rump length at 77 days after the first TAI among EC cows (p < .01), it increased the thoracic diameter at 77 days after the first TAI independent of calving season. Our results support that pregnancy establishment and foetal growth can be improved when grazing Nellore cows are supplemented with β-carotene and vitamins A + D3 + E + biotin.

    PMID:38962998 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14660

  • EFFECT OF CHRONIC ADMINISTRATION OF LOW DOSES OF POLYPEPTIDES OF CATTLE CEREBRAL CORTEX AND METHIONYL-GLUTAMYL-HISTIDYL-PHENYLALANYL-PROLYL-GLYCYL-PROLINE ON BEHAVIORAL RESPONSES OF RAT OFFSPRING

    Georgian Med News. 2024 Apr;(349):22-24.

    ABSTRACT

    In the modern world, anyone is susceptible to the effects of stress, regardless of age, gender, culture, and social status. Stress at an early age accelerates long-term changes in the functional properties underlying emotional perception and therefore may alter the stress response later in life. Unfortunately, the interdisciplinary approach in stress research emphasised the study of stress phenomenon in the development of this or that pathology or manifestation of appropriate reactions under the influence of this or that factor, i.e. the study of a particular case, which did not significantly affect the conceptual level of interpretation of the stress phenomenon as such. Moreover, we did not come across any publications interpreting the pathogenesis of the development of the classical triad of stress, confirming, or refuting its validity. In this study, we evaluated the effect of nootropic drugs – polypeptides of cattle cerebral cortex and methionyl-glutamyl-histidyl-phenylalanyl-prolyl-glycyl-proline on the behaviour of rat offspring under conditions of maternal deprivation. The drug affects processes related to memory formation and learning, enhances attention during learning and analysis of information, improves adaptation of the organism to hypoxia, cerebral ischaemia, anaesthesia and other damaging effects. As a result of the conducted study against the background of early postnatal maternal deprivation and the use of such drugs as methionyl-glutamyl-histidyl-phenylalanyl-prolyl-glycyl-proline and polypeptides of cattle cerebral it was noted that the latter drug showed the greatest effectiveness as a means of compensating the reaction to chronic stress under conditions of maternal deprivation.

    PMID:38963195

  • Lead and calcium crosstalk tempted acrosome damage and hyperpolarization of spermatozoa: signaling and ultra-structural evidences

    Biol Res. 2024 Jul 5;57(1):44. doi: 10.1186/s40659-024-00517-x.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: Exposure of humans and animals to heavy metals is increasing day-by-day; thus, lead even today remains of significant public health concern. According to CDC, blood lead reference value (BLRV) ranges from 3.5 µg/dl to 5 μg/dl in adults. Recently, almost 2.6% decline in male fertility per year has been reported but the cause is not well established. Lead (Pb2+) affects the size of testis, semen quality, and secretory functions of prostate. But the molecular mechanism(s) of lead toxicity in sperm cells is not clear. Thus, present study was undertaken to evaluate the adverse effects of lead acetate at environmentally relevant exposure levels (0.5, 5, 10 and 20 ppm) on functional and molecular dynamics of spermatozoa of bucks following in vitro exposure for 15 min and 3 h.

    RESULTS: Lead significantly decreased motility, viable count, and motion kinematic patterns of spermatozoa like curvilinear velocity, straight-line velocity, average path velocity, beat cross frequency and maximum amplitude of head lateral displacement even at 5 ppm concentration. Pb2+ modulated intracellular cAMP and Ca2+ levels in sperm cells through L-type calcium channels and induced spontaneous or premature acrosome reaction (AR) by increasing tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins and downregulated mitochondrial transmembrane potential. Lead significantly increased DNA damage and apoptosis as well. Electron microscopy studies revealed Pb2+ -induced deleterious effects on plasma membrane of head and acrosome including collapsed cristae in mitochondria.

    CONCLUSIONS: Pb2+ not only mimics Ca2+ but also affects cellular targets involved in generation of cAMP, mitochondrial transmembrane potential, and ionic exchange. Lead seems to interact with Ca2+ channels because of charge similarity and probably enters the sperm cell through these channels and results in hyperpolarization. Our findings also indicate lead-induced TP and intracellular Ca2+ release in spermatozoa which in turn may be responsible for premature acrosome exocytosis which is essential feature of capacitation for fertilization. Thus, lead seems to reduce the fertilizing capacity of spermatozoa even at 0.5 ppm concentrations.

    PMID:38965573 | PMC:PMC11225213 | DOI:10.1186/s40659-024-00517-x

  • Mammary fat globules as a source of mRNA to model alterations in the expression of some milk component genes during lactation in bovines

    BMC Vet Res. 2024 Jul 3;20(1):286. doi: 10.1186/s12917-024-04130-8.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: The milk’s nutritional value is determined by its constituents, including fat, protein, carbohydrates, and minerals. The mammary gland’s ability to produce milk is controlled by a complex network of genes. Thereby, the fat, protein, and lactose synthesis must be boost in milk to increase milk production efficiency. This can be accomplished by fusing genetic advancements with proper management practices. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association between the Lipoprotein lipase (LPL), kappa casein CSN3, and Glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) genes expression levels and such milk components as fat, protein, and lactose in different dairy breeds during different stages of lactation.

    METHODS: To achieve such a purpose, 94 milk samples were collected (72 samples from 36 multiparous black-white and red-white Holstein-Friesian (HF) cows and 22 milk samples from 11 Egyptian buffaloes) during the early and peak lactation stages. The milk samples were utilized for milk analysis and genes expressions analyses using non- invasive approach in obtaining milk fat globules (MFGs) as a source of Ribonucleic acid (RNA).

    RESULTS: LPL and CSN3 genes expressions levels were found to be significantly higher in Egyptian buffalo than Holstein-Friesian (HF) cows as well as fat and protein percentages. On the other hand, GLUT1 gene expression level was shown to be significantly higher during peak lactation than early lactation. Moreover, lactose % showed a significant difference in peak lactation phase compared to early lactation phase. Also, fat and protein percentages were significantly higher in early lactation period than peak lactation period but lactose% showed the opposite pattern of Egyptian buffalo.

    CONCLUSION: Total RNA can be successfully obtained from MFGs. The results suggest that these genes play a role in glucose absorption and lactose synthesis in bovine mammary epithelial cells during lactation. Also, these results provide light on the differential expression of these genes among distinct Holstein-Friesian cow breeds and Egyptian buffalo subspecies throughout various lactation phases.

    PMID:38961471 | PMC:PMC11220969 | DOI:10.1186/s12917-024-04130-8

  • Genetic relationship of energy balance predicted from milk traits with fertility in Japanese Holsteins

    Anim Sci J. 2024 Jan-Dec;95(1):e13968. doi: 10.1111/asj.13968.

    ABSTRACT

    We predicted the energy balance of cows from milk traits and estimated the genetic correlations of predicted energy balance (PEB) with fertility traits for the first three lactations. Data included 9,646,606 test-day records of 576,555 Holstein cows in Japan from 2015 to 2019. Genetic parameters were estimated with a multiple-trait model in which the records among lactation stages and parities were treated as separate traits. Fertility traits were conception rate at first insemination (CR), number of inseminations (NI), and days open (DO). Heritability estimates of PEB were 0.28-0.35 (first lactation), 0.15-0.29 (second), and 0.09-0.23 (third). Estimated genetic correlations among lactation stages were 0.85-1.00 (first lactation), 0.73-1.00 (second), and 0.64-1.00 (third). Estimated genetic correlations among parities were 0.82-0.96 (between first and second), 0.97-0.99 (second and third), and 0.69-0.92 (first and third). Estimated genetic correlations of PEB in early lactation with fertility were 0.04 to 0.19 for CR, -0.03 to -0.19 for NI, and -0.01 to -0.24 for DO. Genetic improvement of PEB is possible. Lower PEB in early lactation was associated with worse fertility, suggesting that improving PEB in early lactation may improve reproductive performance.

    PMID:38951923 | DOI:10.1111/asj.13968

  • Characteristics of unilateral and bilateral bovine twin foetuses

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jul;59(7):e14659. doi: 10.1111/rda.14659.

    ABSTRACT

    Twin pregnancy in cattle is undesirable for a number of reasons, including a higher abortion risk compared to pregnancies with a single foetus. Yet, the abortion risk is significantly influenced by the intrauterine location of the foetuses, that is, the abortion risk is several times higher if they are implanted in the same uterine horn (unilateral twin pregnancy) than if they are implanted with one foetus in each uterine horn (bilateral twin pregnancy). The reason for the higher abortion risk in unilateral twin pregnancies is unknown, but it may be related to malnutrition of the outermost foetus due to a limited placental capacity, as is the case for equine twin foetuses. A slaughterhouse study was performed and the foetuses of cattle pregnant with twins were measured. We identified 65 cases of twin pregnancies, of which 35 were unilateral twin pregnancies and 30 were bilateral twin pregnancies. There was no significant difference between the outermost and the more centrally located foetus in unilateral twin pregnancies in terms of body weight and length of the metacarpal diaphysis. Growth retardation of the outermost foetus could therefore not be confirmed as the cause of the higher abortion risk in unilateral bovine twin pregnancies. Four cases of pre-slaughter foetal mortality were identified. In three of these cases, both twins were dead, of equal size and at a comparable level of degradation. In the fourth case, with approximately 40-day-old twin foetuses of equal size, only one of the foetuses showed signs of pre-slaughter death.

    PMID:38949053 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14659

  • Estimation of maternal and additive effect on reproduction and productive traits in Hardhenu cattle

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jul;59(7):e14658. doi: 10.1111/rda.14658.

    ABSTRACT

    The study aimed to assess performance traits in Hardhenu cattle by analysing data from 445 animals born to 59 sires and 227 dams. The investigation focused on estimating (co)variance components and genetic parameters for reproduction and production traits in dairy cattle. Results from least-squares analysis indicated a significant effect (p < .01) of the period of calving (POC) on key production traits, including first lactation milk yield (FLMY), 300-day milk yield (FLMY300), first peak yield (FPY) and total lactation milk yield (TLMY) in studied population. The least squares means for these traits were reported as follows: FLMY (2665.68 ± 45.66 kg), FLMY300 (2425.52 ± 34.41 kg), FLL (312.95 ± 3.83 days), FPY (11.52 ± 0.15 kg) and TLMY (9282.44 ± 167.03 kg) in Hardhenu cattle. In the studied population, only additive genetic variability was found to be present and there was absence of any significant maternal effect with respect to targeted traits in the resource population. Direct heritability estimates (h2) for FLMY, FLMY300, FLL, FPY, TLMY and other traits ranged from 0.03 to 0.41 in Hardhenu cattle. These findings offer valuable insights into the genetic factors influencing performance traits, contributing to the enhancement of breeding and management practices in Hardhenu cattle.

    PMID:38943461 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14658

  • Lactational performance, ruminal fermentation, and enteric gas emission of dairy cows fed an amylase-enabled corn silage in diets with different starch concentrations

    J Dairy Sci. 2024 Jul;107(7):4426-4448. doi: 10.3168/jds.2023-23957.

    ABSTRACT

    This study investigated the effects of feeding an amylase-enabled corn silage (ACS) on the performance and enteric gas emissions in lactating dairy cows. Following a 2-wk covariate period, 48 mid-lactation Holstein cows were assigned to 1 of 3 treatments in a 10-wk randomized complete block design experiment. Treatments were diets containing the same proportion of corn silage (40% of dietary DM) as follows: (1) a conventional hybrid corn silage control (CON), (2) ACS replacing the control silage (ADR), and (3) the ADR diet replacing soybean hulls with ground corn grain to achieve the same dietary starch concentration as CON (ASR). Control corn silage and ACS were harvested on the same day and contained 40.3% and 37.1% DM and (% of DM): 37.2% and 41.0% NDF and 37.1% and 30.0% starch, respectively. Enteric gas emissions were measured using the GreenFeed system. Two cows were culled due to health-related issues during the covariate period. Ruminal fluid was collected from 24 cows (8 per treatment) using the orogastric ruminal sampling technique. When compared with CON, cows fed ADR had increased DMI during experimental wk 3, 4, and 9, but treatment did not affect milk or ECM milk yields (39.0 kg/d on average; SEM = 0.89). Compared with CON, feed efficiency (per unit of milk, but not ECM) tended to be lower for ADR, whereas milk true protein concentration (a tendency) and yield were lower for ASR. Milk urea N was decreased by both ADR and ASR diets relative to CON. Compared with CON, daily CH4 emission and emission intensity were increased by ADR but not ASR. Total protozoal count tended to be increased by both diets formulated with ACS when compared with control corn silage. Total-tract digestibility of dietary NDF was greater for ASR, and that of ADF was greater for both ADR and ASR versus CON. The molar proportion of acetate (a tendency) and acetate-to-propionate ratio were increased by ADR, but not ASR, when compared with CON. Replacement of CON with ACS (having lower starch concentration) in the diet of dairy cows increased DMI during the initial weeks of the experiment, maintained ECM, tended to decrease feed efficiency, and increased enteric CH4 emissions, likely due to increased intake of digestible fiber, compared with CON.

    PMID:38942561 | DOI:10.3168/jds.2023-23957

  • Separate offering of forages and concentrates to lactating dairy cows: Effects on lactational performance, enteric methane emission, and efficiency of nutrient utilization

    J Dairy Sci. 2024 Jul;107(7):4587-4604. doi: 10.3168/jds.2023-24261.

    ABSTRACT

    The objective was to evaluate the effects of separate offering of feed ingredients (SF) and frequency of concentrate feeding versus offering a TMR, on lactational performance, ruminal fermentation, enteric CH4 emissions, nutrient digestibility, N use efficiency, milk fatty acid profile, and blood variables in mid-lactation dairy cows. Twenty-four Holstein cows (12 primi- and 12 multiparous) averaging (±SD) 141 ± 35 DIM and 43 ± 6 kg/d of milk yield (MY) at the beginning of the study were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design experiment with 3 periods of 28 d each, composed of 7 d for adaptation to the diets, 11 d for estimation of net energy and metabolizable protein requirements, and 10 d for data and samples collection. Cows were grouped based on parity, DIM, and MY into 4 Latin squares. Treatment allocation was balanced for carryover effects, and cows within square were assigned to (1) basal diet fed ad libitum as TMR; (2) basal diet fed as SF with forages fed ad libitum and concentrates fed 3×/d (SF×3); or (3) basal diet fed as SF with forages fed ad libitum and concentrates fed 6×/d (SF×6). Compared with TMR, SF decreased total DMI by 1.2 kg/d. Treatments did not affect MY, milk components, or ECM yield, except for a decrease in milk fat concentration and an increase in milk urea N by SF×3, compared with TMR. Feed efficiency (kg of MY/kg of DMI) was increased by 7% in SF, compared with TMR. Ruminal molar proportion of acetate and acetate-to-propionate ratio were decreased, whereas molar proportion of propionate was increased by SF×3, compared with TMR and SF×6. There was a 9% decrease in daily CH4 production by SF, compared with TMR. Enteric CH4 yield (per kg of DMI) was not affected by treatments in the current study. Methane intensity per kilogram of MY tended to be decreased by 10% in SF, compared with TMR. The sums of odd- and branched-chain, odd-chain, and anteiso milk fatty acids tended to be or were increased by SF, compared with TMR. Intake of nutrients tended to be or were decreased by SF, compared with TMR. The digestibility of amylase-treated NDF tended to be decreased and ADF digestibility was decreased by 3% in SF, compared with TMR. Urinary and fecal N excretions were not affected by treatments. As a percentage of total N intake, separate offering of feed ingredients increased milk N secretion, indicating an increased N use efficiency by SF, compared with TMR. Blood total fatty acid concentration was decreased by SF relative to TMR. Compared with both TMR and SF×6, SF×3 increased blood urea N concentration. Overall, feed and N use efficiencies were increased by separate offering of feed ingredients, and increasing the frequency of concentrate feeding promoted ruminal fermentation effects similar to those obtained by feeding a TMR.

    PMID:38942562 | DOI:10.3168/jds.2023-24261

  • Influence of different milking methods on milk quality based on somatic cell count and basic composition

    Ann Agric Environ Med. 2024 Jun 27;31(2):198-204. doi: 10.26444/aaem/187170. Epub 2024 May 13.

    ABSTRACT

    INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: Correlations between the number of milk somatic cells (SCC), the number of microorganisms, and the content of basic components of milk were studied on five farms (F1-F5) with cows of the same breed, but with different milking systems.

    MATERIAL AND METHODS: From each farm, 50 Holstein Friesien milk samples were collected once a month (250 samples/month; n=3,000) during March 2022 – February 2023. Samples from farms F1 and F5 were tested for fat, protein, lactose, no fat dry matter content (FTIR spectroscopy), for the SCC (Fossomatic 7), and for the differential cells (Vetscan DC-Q).

    RESULTS: The highest fat content was confirmed on farm F5 (3.85 ± 1.70%) and F4 (3.82 ± 0.21%) with automatic milking system (AMS). However, from the point of view of protein content, these farms showed slightly lower values (<0.05). F1 did not meet the minimum required amount for fat content (2.84 ± 0.81%) set by the legislation of the Slovakia. The comparison shows that there is not much difference in cell size between healthy cells and mastitis cells. The average size of healthy cells was approximately 8.77 ± 0.49 μm. In the monitored period, the average values determined were at the level of 292,000/mL (5.46 ± 0.72 log10 SCC) in cow milk samples, while for the rest of the year, the values remained at 256,000/mL (5.40 ± 0.80 log10 SCC). F1 was categorized as a positive farm with a high TLC (total milk leucocyte count) concentration (5.58 log10 cells/mL, 406.65 ± 53.80 × 103 cells/mL) and a predominant NEU fraction (61%). Farms F2, F4, and F5 were classified as negative farms (TLC was 4.70 ± 0.26 log10 cells/ml).

    CONCLUSIONS: According to the results, the size of SCCs in healthy milk does not differ from SCCs found in mastitis milk. From the results, it can be concluded that the transition to the latest generation of robotic milking method can positively affect milk production and its quality.

    PMID:38940103 | DOI:10.26444/aaem/187170

  • Characterization of expression patterns and dynamic relocation of Notch proteins during acrosome reaction of bull spermatozoa

    Sci Rep. 2024 Jun 28;14(1):14925. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-65950-0.

    ABSTRACT

    Notch is a conserved cell-signaling pathway involved in spermatogenesis regulation. This study firstly evaluated the presence, localization patterns, acquisition origin and relation to acrosome reaction of Notch proteins in bull sperm. Western Blot analysis detected all Notch proteins in ejaculated bull sperm, and immunostaining described their specific sperm localization. Recovery of sperm from different segments showed that Notch proteins have testicular origin (NOTCH1, NOTCH2, DLL4), are sequentially acquired during sperm maturation along epididymal transit (NOTCH3, DLL3, JAGGED1-2), or post-ejaculation (DLL1, NOTCH4). Testis NOTCH2 is ubiquitously expressed in all germ-cell lines, whereas DLL4 is expressed in round and elongated spermatids during the Golgi, Cap, Acrosome and Maturation phases. In vitro spontaneous and induced sperm acrosome reaction induce consistent sperm regional relocation of NOTCH2, DLL4 and JAGGED1, and these relocation patterns are significantly associated to sperm acrosome status. NOTCH2 and JAGGED1 are relocated from the head apical to the post-equatorial regions, whereas DLL4 is lost along with the acrosome, evidencing that sperm spatial redistribution of NOTCH2 and JAGGED1 is linked to acrosome reaction onset, whereas DLL4 loss is linked to AR completion. Overall, results prompt for a relevant Notch role in bull sperm acrosome testicular development, epididymal maturation and acrosome reaction.

    PMID:38942812 | PMC:PMC11213903 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-024-65950-0

  • Transcriptomic Analysis of Newborn Hanwoo Calves: Effects of Maternal Overnutrition during Mid- to Late Pregnancy on Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue and Liver

    Genes (Basel). 2024 May 28;15(6):704. doi: 10.3390/genes15060704.

    ABSTRACT

    This study investigated the transcriptomic responses of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and liver in newborn Hanwoo calves subjected to maternal overnutrition during mid- to late gestation. Eight Hanwoo cows were randomly assigned to control and treatment groups. The treatment group received a diet of 4.5 kg of concentrate and 6.5 kg of rice straw daily, resulting in intake levels of 8.42 kg DMI, 5.69 kg TDN, and 0.93 kg CP-higher than the control group (6.07 kg DMI, 4.07 kg TDN, and 0.65 kg CP), with respective NEm values of 9.56 Mcal and 6.68 Mcal. Following birth, newly born calves were euthanized humanely as per ethical guidelines, and SAT and liver samples from newborn calves were collected for RNA extraction and analysis. RNA sequencing identified 192 genes that were differentially expressed in the SAT (17 downregulated and 175 upregulated); notably, HSPA6 emerged as the most significantly upregulated gene in the SAT and as the singular upregulated gene in the liver (adj-p value < 0.05). Additionally, differential gene expression analysis highlighted extensive changes across genes associated with adipogenesis, fibrogenesis, and stress response. The functional enrichment pathway and protein-protein interaction (PPI) unraveled the intricate networks and biological processes impacted by overnutrition, including extracellular matrix organization, cell surface receptor signaling, and the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway. These findings underscore maternal overnutrition's substantial influence on developmental pathways, suggesting profound cellular modifications with potential lasting effects on health and productivity. Despite the robust insights that are provided, the study's limitations (sample size) underscore the necessity for further research.

    PMID:38927640 | PMC:PMC11202606 | DOI:10.3390/genes15060704

  • <em>PC</em> Gene Affects Milk Production Traits in Dairy Cattle

    Genes (Basel). 2024 May 29;15(6):708. doi: 10.3390/genes15060708.

    ABSTRACT

    In previous work, we found that PC was differentially expressed in cows at different lactation stages. Thus, we deemed that PC may be a candidate gene affecting milk production traits in dairy cattle. In this study, we found the polymorphisms of PC by resequencing and verified their genetic associations with milk production traits by using an animal model in a cattle population. In total, we detected six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PC. The single marker association analysis showed that all SNPs were significantly associated with the five milk production traits (p < 0.05). Additionally, we predicted that allele G of 29:g.44965658 in the 5' regulatory region created binding sites for TF GATA1 and verified that this allele inhibited the transcriptional activity of PC by the dual-luciferase reporter assay. In conclusion, we proved that PC had a prominent genetic effect on milk production traits, and six SNPs with prominent genetic effects could be used as markers for genomic selection (GS) in dairy cattle, which is beneficial for accelerating the improvement in milk yield and quality in Chinese Holstein cows.

    PMID:38927644 | PMC:PMC11202589 | DOI:10.3390/genes15060708

  • Identifying Regions of the Genome Associated with Conception Rate to the First Service in Holstein Heifers Bred by Artificial Insemination and as Embryo Transfer Recipients

    Genes (Basel). 2024 Jun 11;15(6):765. doi: 10.3390/genes15060765.

    ABSTRACT

    Heifer conception rate to the first service (HCR1) is defined as the number of heifers that become pregnant to the first breeding service compared to the heifers bred. This study aimed to identify loci associated and gene sets enriched for HCR1 for heifers that were bred by artificial insemination (AI, n = 2829) or were embryo transfer (ET, n = 2086) recipients, by completing a genome-wide association analysis and gene set enrichment analysis using SNP data (GSEA-SNP). Three unique loci, containing four positional candidate genes, were associated (p < 1 × 10-5) with HCR1 for ET recipients, while the GSEA-SNP identified four gene sets (NES ≥ 3) and sixty-two leading edge genes (LEGs) enriched for HCR1. While no loci were associated with HCR1 bred by AI, one gene set and twelve LEGs were enriched (NES ≥ 3) for HCR1 with the GSEA-SNP. This included one gene (PKD2) shared between HCR1 AI and ET services. Identifying loci associated or enriched for HCR1 provides an opportunity to use them as genomic selection tools to facilitate the selection of cattle with higher reproductive efficiency, and to better understand embryonic loss.

    PMID:38927701 | PMC:PMC11202900 | DOI:10.3390/genes15060765

  • Setting the boundaries-an approach to estimate the Loss Gap in dairy cattle

    PLoS One. 2024 Jun 27;19(6):e0306314. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0306314. eCollection 2024.

    ABSTRACT

    Dairy production in the UK has undergone substantial restructuring over the last few decades. Farming intensification has led to a reduction in the total numbers of farms and animals, while the average herd size per holding has increased. These ever-changing circumstances have important implications for the health and welfare of dairy cows, as well as the overall business performance of farms. For decision-making in dairy farming, it is essential to understand the underlying causes of the inefficiencies and their relative impact. The investigation of yield gaps regarding dairy cattle has been focused on specific causes. However, in addition to the risk of overestimating the impact of a specific ailment, this approach does not allow understanding of the relative contribution to the total, nor does it allow understanding of how well-described that gap is in terms of underlying causes. Using the English and Welsh dairy sectors as an example, this work estimates the Loss Gap-composed of yield losses and health expenditure – using a benchmarking approach and scenario analysis. The Loss Gap was estimated by comparing the current performance of dairy herds as a baseline with that of scenarios where assumptions were made about the milk production of cows, production costs, market prices, mortality, and expenditure related to health events. A deterministic model was developed, consisting of an enterprise budget, in which the cow was the unit, with milking herd and young stock treated separately. When constraining milk production, the model estimated an annual Loss Gap of £148 to £227 million for the whole sector. The reduction in costs of veterinary services and medicines, alongside herd replacement costs, were important contributors to the estimate with some variation between the scenarios. Milk price had a substantial impact in the estimate, with revenue from milk yield representing more than 30% of the Loss Gap, when milk price was benchmarked against that of the top performing farms. This framework provides the boundaries for understanding the relative burden from specific causes in English and Welsh dairy cattle, ensuring that the sum of the estimated losses due to particular problem does not exceed the losses from all-causes, health or non-health related.

    PMID:38935774 | PMC:PMC11210862 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0306314

  • Oestrogen and progesterone concentrations in intrapartum cows with insufficient cervix dilation

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jun;59(6):e14656. doi: 10.1111/rda.14656.

    ABSTRACT

    The cervix is an important organ that has to dilate sufficiently at delivery to allow the foetus to transition to extrauterine life. Insufficient dilatation of the cervix (IDC) is a frequent cause of dystocia in cattle. The mechanisms underlying cervical opening and the pathogenesis of IDC are still widely unclear. Systematic studies on the relationship between IDC and steroid hormones have been limited and have yielded inconsistent findings. This study aimed to measure oestrogen and progesterone (P4) concentrations in intrapartum cows presented with dystocia due to IDC and in a comparison (C) group of cows with eutocic delivery. Before any obstetrical procedures, and right after the initial evaluation, blood samples were taken from IDC and C animals. Concentrations of P4, oestradiol-17β (E2), free total oestrogens (FTE) and conjugated total oestrogens (CTE) were measured by established radioimmunoassays. Concentrations of P4 (p = .538), FTE (p = .065) and CTE (p = .605) were not statistically different between C and IDC groups. However, E2 levels in group C were significantly lower when compared to those in the IDC group (p = .013), which is inconsistent with the function of oestrogens in cervical dilatation. The correlation analysis demonstrated significant positive correlations between the pairs P4 versus FTE, P4 versus E2 and FTE versus E2 in group C and between the pair FTE versus E2 in group IDC. In conclusion, the results suggest that local activities of steroids relevant to the aetiology of IDC are not reflected by concentrations in the systemic circulation or that other factors are clearly more important.

    PMID:38923054 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14656

  • Evaluation of hormones as candidate early biomarkers of Holstein bull performance around the first semen collection at artificial insemination centres

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jun;59(6):e14646. doi: 10.1111/rda.14646.

    ABSTRACT

    Artificial insemination (AI) centres select bulls as calves according to their genetic breeding values and raise them until the first semen collection; yet, a high dropout rate of reared bulls is a problem for AI centres. Potential hormonal indicators of bull sexual maturation (cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, oestradiol, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)) were observed and evaluated in relation to the performance parameters to perhaps identify candidate biomarkers allowing an early selection of bulls as suitable sires. Blood samples from 102 German Holstein calves at 4 ± 1, 8 ± 1 and 12 ± 2 months of age from six AI centres were analysed using validated immunoassays for cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, oestradiol and IGF-1. Semen analyses included native and thawed diluted semen. Bulls were classified at the first semen collection into groups with good versus poor performance (GP vs. LP). After 2 years, the subsequent differentiation was done in high (HPP), medium (MPP) and low performance persistency (LPP). Age at first semen collection was an important factor for sperm quality. Cortisol concentrations decreased with age, but the cortisol/DHEA ratio decreased with age only in GP bulls (p < .05). Oestradiol and testosterone concentrations both correlated with libido behaviour (p < .05). Testosterone and IGF-1 concentrations were higher at the time of first semen collection in GP bulls and increased with age (p < .05). In conclusion, testosterone and IGF-1 concentrations at first semen collection are associated with performance at first semen collection and future performance persistency, and might be useful early biomarkers for consistent sperm producing bulls on AI centres.

    PMID:38923114 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14646

  • piRNA expression patterns in high vs. low fertility bovine sperm

    Syst Biol Reprod Med. 2024 Dec;70(1):183-194. doi: 10.1080/19396368.2024.2364742. Epub 2024 Jun 26.

    ABSTRACT

    PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are 24-32 nucleotide RNA sequences primarily expressed in germ cells and developing embryos that suppress transposable element expression to protect genomic integrity during epigenetic reprogramming events. We characterized the expression of piRNA sequences and their encoding clusters in sperm samples from an idiopathic fertility model of Holstein bulls with high and low Sire Conception Rates. The piRNA populations were determined to be mostly similar between fertility conditions when investigated by principal component and differential expression analysis, suggesting that a high degree of conservation in the piRNA system is likely necessary for the production of viable sperm. Both fertility conditions demonstrated evidence of ‘ping-pong’ activity – a secondary biogenesis pathway associated with active transposable element targeting and suppression. Most sperm-borne piRNAs were between 29-30 nucleotides in length and originated from 226 clusters across the genome, with the exception of chromosome 20. Mapping analysis revealed abundant targeting of several transposable element families, suggesting a suppressive function of sperm piRNAs consistent with their established roles. Expression of genes targeted by sperm-borne piRNAs is significantly reduced throughout early embryogenesis compared to the mRNA population. Limited transposable element expression is known to be essential for spermatogenesis, thus epigenetic regulation of this pathway is likely to influence sperm quality and fertilizing capacity.

    PMID:38924761 | DOI:10.1080/19396368.2024.2364742

  • Effects of natural mating, artificial insemination and intravaginal deposition of raw semen or seminal plasma on vaginal and uterine blood flow in German Holstein cows

    BMC Vet Res. 2024 Jun 26;20(1):277. doi: 10.1186/s12917-024-03919-x.

    ABSTRACT

    AIM: The present study was performed to characterize and compare the perfusion of vaginal and uterine arteries after challenging the reproductive tract of dairy cows via natural mating, artificial insemination (AI), or intravaginal deposition (vaginal fundus) of different biological fluids or a placebo.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a double-blind study, six German Holstein cows were administered PGF during dioestrus and 48 h later treated with GnRH. Intravaginal or intrauterine treatments were carried out 12 h after GnRH was administered. Animals served as their controls, using a cross-over design with an interval of 14 days between experiments. The experimental animals were allocated to receive the following treatments: natural mating (N), intrauterine artificial insemination (A), intravaginal deposition (vaginal fundus) of 6 mL raw semen (R) or 6 mL seminal plasma (S), and compared to their controls [control 1: 6 mL placebo (P: physiological saline); control 2: no treatment (C)). Corresponding time intervals were chosen for the untreated control oestrus. Blood flow volume (BFV) in the uterine (u) and vaginal (v) arteries ipsilateral to the ovary bearing the preovulatory follicle was determined using transrectal Doppler sonography.

    RESULTS: All animals exhibited oestrus and ovulated between 30 and 36 h after GnRH. Transient increases (P < 0.05) in vaginal blood flow occurred between 3 and 12 h following mating as well as 3 to 9 h after deposition of raw semen and seminal plasma, respectively. The most distinct increases (199%) in vBFV occurred 6 h after mating compared to values immediately before mating (= time 0 h). Neither AI nor deposition of a placebo into the vagina affected vBFV (P > 0.05). Only mating and deposition of either raw semen, seminal plasma or AI increased uBFV (P < 0.003). The greatest rise in uBFV occurred after natural mating. Maximum uBFV values were detected 9 h after mating when values were 79% greater (P < 0.05) than at 0 h.

    CONCLUSIONS: The natural mating, deposition of raw semen or seminal plasma and conventional AI affect vaginal and/or uterine blood flow to different degrees. The factors responsible for these alterations in blood flow and their effects on fertility remain to be clarified in future studies.

    PMID:38926710 | PMC:PMC11201786 | DOI:10.1186/s12917-024-03919-x

  • Deregulation of oxidative phosphorylation pathways in embryos derived in vitro from prepubertal and pubertal heifers based on whole-transcriptome sequencing

    BMC Genomics. 2024 Jun 24;25(1):632. doi: 10.1186/s12864-024-10532-7.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: Although, oocytes from prepubertal donors are known to be less developmentally competent than those from adult donors it does not restrain their ability to produce full-term pregnancies. The transcriptomic profile of embryos could be used as a predictor for embryo’s individual developmental competence. The aim of the study was to compare transcriptomic profile of blastocysts derived from prepubertal and pubertal heifers oocytes. Bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were obtained by ovum pick- up method from prepubertal and pubertal heifers. After in vitro maturation COCs were fertilized and cultured to the blastocyst stage. Total RNA was isolated from both groups of blastocysts and RNA-seq was performed. Gene ontology analysis was performed by DAVID (Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery).

    RESULTS: A higher average blastocyst rate was obtained in the pubertal than in the pre-pubertal group. There were no differences in the quality of blastocysts between the examined groups. We identified 436 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between blastocysts derived from researched groups, of which 247 DEGs were downregulated in blastocysts derived from pubertal compared to prepubertal heifers oocytes, and 189 DEGs were upregulated. The genes involved in mitochondrial function, including oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) were found to be different in studied groups using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes (KEGG) pathway analysis and 8 of those DEGs were upregulated and 1 was downregulated in blastocysts derived from pubertal compared to prepubertal heifers oocytes. DEGs associated with mitochondrial function were found: ATP synthases (ATP5MF-ATP synthase membrane subunit f, ATP5PD- ATP synthase peripheral stalk subunit d, ATP12A- ATPase H+/K + transporting non-gastric alpha2 subunit), NADH dehydrogenases (NDUFS3- NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductase subunit core subunit S3, NDUFA13- NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductase subunit A13, NDUFA3- NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductase subunit A3), cytochrome c oxidase (COX17), cytochrome c somatic (CYCS) and ubiquinol cytochrome c reductase core protein 1 (UQCRC1). We found lower number of apoptotic cells in blastocysts derived from oocytes collected from prepubertal than those obtained from pubertal donors.

    CONCLUSIONS: Despite decreased expression of genes associated with OXPHOS pathway in blastocysts from prepubertal heifers oocytes, the increased level of ATP12A together with the lower number of apoptotic cells in these blastocysts might support their survival after transfer.

    PMID:38914933 | PMC:PMC11197288 | DOI:10.1186/s12864-024-10532-7

  • Influence of early progesterone removal on follicular development, expression of estrus, and pregnancy rates in presynchronized postpartum beef cows

    Anim Reprod Sci. 2024 Aug;267:107541. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2024.107541. Epub 2024 Jun 20.

    ABSTRACT

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of early progesterone removal on pregnancy rates to fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) in presynchronized beef cows. Postpartum beef cows (n = 882) were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments: 1) 7&7 Synch: cows received a controlled internal drug release insert (CIDR) and a 25-mg injection of prostaglandin F on day 0, 100 μg of GnRH on day 7, a second injection of prostaglandin F (PG2) at CIDR removal on day 14, and a second injection of GnRH at FTAI 60-66 h after PG2 (day 17); 2) 7&6 Synch: cows received the same treatment as 7&7 Synch; however, CIDR removal occurred in conjunction with PG2 on day 13, while FTAI remained at 60-66 h after CIDR removal (day 16). Ovarian ultrasonography was performed to determine follicle diameter at PG2 and FTAI in a subset of cows (n = 40). Cows exposed to the 7&7 Synch tended to have larger follicle diameter at PG2 compared with 7&6 Synch cows (P = 0.09); however, there were no differences in follicle diameter at FTAI. No differences were determined between treatments for the expression of estrus (7&7 Synch: 61.6 ± 5.30; 7&6 Synch: 54.1 ± 5.45; P = 0.31) or pregnancy rates to FTAI (7&7 Synch: 60.8 ± 3.83; 7&6 Synch: 57.0 ± 3.84; P = 0.42). In conclusion, early removal of progesterone did not impact pregnancy rates in presynchronized beef cows.

    PMID:38909485 | DOI:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2024.107541

  • Efficiency of embryo complementation and pluripotency maintenance following multiple passaging of <em>in vitro</em>-derived bovine embryos

    Reprod Fertil Dev. 2024 Jun;36:RD24018. doi: 10.1071/RD24018.

    ABSTRACT

    Context Current methods to obtain bovine embryos of high genetic merit include approaches that require skilled techniques for low-efficiency cloning strategies. Aims The overall goal herein was to identify the efficacy of alternative methods for producing multiple embryos through blastomere complementation while determining maintenance of cell pluripotency. Methods Bovine oocytes were fertilised in vitro to produce 4-cell embryos from which blastomeres were isolated and cultured as 2-cell aggregates using a well-of-the-well system. Aggregates were returned to incubation up to 7days (Passage 1). A second passage of complement embryos was achieved by splitting 4-cell Passage 1 embryos. Passaged embryos reaching the blastocyst stage were characterised for cell number and cell lineage specification in replicate with non-reconstructed zona-intact embryos. Key results Passage 1 and 2 embryo complements yielded 29% and 25% blastocyst development, respectively. Passage 1 embryos formed blastocysts, but with a reduction in expression of SOX2 and decreased size compared to non-reconstructed zona-intact embryos. Passage 2 embryos had a complete lack of SOX2 expression and a reduction in transcript abundance of SOX2 and SOX17, suggesting loss of pluripotency markers that primarily affected inner cell mass (ICM) and hypoblast formation. Conclusions In vitro fertilised bovine embryos can be reconstructed with multiple passaging to generate genetically identical embryos. Increased passaging drives trophectoderm cell lineage specification while compromising ICM formation. Implications These results may provide an alternative strategy for producing genetically identical bovine embryos through blastomere complementation with applications towards the development of trophoblast and placental models of early development.

    PMID:38902907 | DOI:10.1071/RD24018

  • Genome-wide association study considering genotype-by-environment interaction for productive and reproductive traits using whole-genome sequencing in Nellore cattle

    BMC Genomics. 2024 Jun 20;25(1):623. doi: 10.1186/s12864-024-10520-x.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: The genotype-by-environment interaction (GxE) in beef cattle can be investigated using reaction norm models to assess environmental sensitivity and, combined with genome-wide association studies (GWAS), to map genomic regions related to animal adaptation. Including genetic markers from whole-genome sequencing in reaction norm (RN) models allows us to identify high-resolution candidate genes across environmental gradients through GWAS. Hence, we performed a GWAS via the RN approach using whole-genome sequencing data, focusing on mapping candidate genes associated with the expression of reproductive and growth traits in Nellore cattle. For this purpose, we used phenotypic data for age at first calving (AFC), scrotal circumference (SC), post-weaning weight gain (PWG), and yearling weight (YW). A total of 20,000 males and 7,159 females genotyped with 770k were imputed to the whole sequence (29 M). After quality control and linkage disequilibrium (LD) pruning, there remained ∼ 2.41 M SNPs for SC, PWG, and YW and ∼ 5.06 M SNPs for AFC.

    RESULTS: Significant SNPs were identified on Bos taurus autosomes (BTA) 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25 and 27 for AFC and on BTA 4, 5 and 8 for SC. For growth traits, significant SNP markers were identified on BTA 3, 5 and 20 for YW and PWG. A total of 56 positional candidate genes were identified for AFC, 9 for SC, 3 for PWG, and 24 for YW. The significant SNPs detected for the reaction norm coefficients in Nellore cattle were found to be associated with growth, adaptative, and reproductive traits. These candidate genes are involved in biological mechanisms related to lipid metabolism, immune response, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway, and energy and phosphate metabolism.

    CONCLUSIONS: GWAS results highlighted differences in the physiological processes linked to lipid metabolism, immune response, MAPK signaling pathway, and energy and phosphate metabolism, providing insights into how different environmental conditions interact with specific genes affecting animal adaptation, productivity, and reproductive performance. The shared genomic regions between the intercept and slope are directly implicated in the regulation of growth and reproductive traits in Nellore cattle raised under different environmental conditions.

    PMID:38902640 | PMC:PMC11188527 | DOI:10.1186/s12864-024-10520-x

  • miRNAs in Follicular and Oviductal Fluids Support Global DNA Demethylation in Early-Stage Embryos

    Int J Mol Sci. 2024 May 28;25(11):5872. doi: 10.3390/ijms25115872.

    ABSTRACT

    Global methylation levels differ in in vitro- and in vivo-developed embryos. Follicular fluid (FF) contains extracellular vesicles (EVs) containing miRNAs that affect embryonic development. Here, we examined our hypothesis that components in FF affect global DNA methylation and embryonic development. Oocytes and FF were collected from bovine ovaries. Treatment of zygotes with a low concentration of FF induced global DNA demethylation, improved embryonic development, and reduced DNMT1/3A levels. We show that embryos take up EVs containing labeled miRNA secreted from granulosa cells and the treatment of zygotes with EVs derived from FF reduces global DNA methylation in embryos. Furthermore, the methylation levels of in vitro-developed blastocysts were higher than those of in their vivo counterparts. Based on small RNA-sequencing and in silico analysis, we predicted miR-29b, -199a-3p, and -148a to target DNMTs and to induce DNA demethylation, thereby improving embryonic development. Moreover, among FF from 30 cows, FF with a high content of these miRNAs demethylated more DNA in the embryos than FF with a lower miRNA content. Thus, miRNAs in FF play a role in early embryonic development.

    PMID:38892059 | PMC:PMC11172648 | DOI:10.3390/ijms25115872

  • Effects of Dandelion Extract on Promoting Production Performance and Reducing Mammary Oxidative Stress in Dairy Cows Fed High-Concentrate Diet

    Int J Mol Sci. 2024 May 31;25(11):6075. doi: 10.3390/ijms25116075.

    ABSTRACT

    This study investigated the effects of rumen bypass dandelion extract on the lactation performance, immune index, and mammary oxidative stress of lactating dairy cows fed a high-concentrate diet. This study used a complete randomized block design, and initial milk production, somatic cell counts, and parities were set as block factors. Sixty Holstein cows with similar health conditions and lactating periods (70 ± 15 d) were divided into three groups with 20 replicates per group. The treatments included the LCD group (low-concentrate diet, concentrate-forage = 4:6), HCD group (high-concentrate group, concentrate-forage = 6:4), and DAE group (dandelion aqueous extract group, HCD group with 0.5% DAE). The experimental period was 35 d, and cows were fed three times in the morning, afternoon, and night with free access to water. The results showed the following: (1) Milk production in the HCD and DAE groups was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that in the LCD group from WK4, and the milk quality differed during the experimental period. (2) The HCD group's pH values significantly differed (p < 0.01) from those of the LCD and DAE groups. (3) In WK2 and WK4 of the experimental period, the somatic cell counts of dairy cows in the HCD group were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those in the DAE group. (4) The serum concentrations of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and protein carbonyl (PC) in the HCD group were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those in the LCD group. The activity of catalase (CAT) in the LCD and DAE groups was stronger (p < 0.01) than that in the HCD group. (5) The correlation analysis revealed significantly positive correlations between the plasma LPS concentration and serum concentrations of 8-OHdG (p < 0.01), PC (p < 0.01), and malondialdehyde (MDA, p < 0.05) and significantly negative correlations (p < 0.01) between the plasma LPS concentration and activities of CAT and superoxide dismutase. (6) Compared with that in the HCD and DAE groups, the mRNA expression of α, β, and κ casein and acetyl CoA carboxylase in bovine mammary epithelial cells was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the LCD group, and the mRNA expression of fatty acid synthetase and stearoyl CoA desaturase in the LCD group was significantly higher (p < 0.01) than that in the HCD group. (7) Compared with that in the LCD and HCD groups, the mRNA expression of Nrf2 was significantly higher (p < 0.01) in the DAE group, and the mRNA expression of cystine/glutamate transporter and NAD (P) H quinone oxidoreductase 1 in the DAE group was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that in the HCD group. Overall, feeding a high-concentrate diet could increase the milk yield of dairy cows, but the milk quality, rumen homeostasis, and antioxidative capability were adversely affected. The supplementation of DAE in a high-concentrate diet enhanced antioxidative capability by activating the Nrf2 regulatory factor and improved rumen homeostasis and production performance.

    PMID:38892271 | PMC:PMC11172500 | DOI:10.3390/ijms25116075

  • Whole Genome Scan Uncovers Candidate Genes Related to Milk Production Traits in Barka Cattle

    Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Jun 2;25(11):6142. doi: 10.3390/ijms25116142.

    ABSTRACT

    In this study, our primary aim was to explore the genomic landscape of Barka cattle, a breed recognized for high milk production in a semi-arid environment, by focusing on genes with known roles in milk production traits. We employed genome-wide analysis and three selective sweep detection methods (ZFST, θπ ratio, and ZHp) to identify candidate genes associated with milk production and composition traits. Notably, ACAA1, P4HTM, and SLC4A4 were consistently identified by all methods. Functional annotation highlighted their roles in crucial biological processes such as fatty acid metabolism, mammary gland development, and milk protein synthesis. These findings contribute to understanding the genetic basis of milk production in Barka cattle, presenting opportunities for enhancing dairy cattle production in tropical climates. Further validation through genome-wide association studies and transcriptomic analyses is essential to fully exploit these candidate genes for selective breeding and genetic improvement in tropical dairy cattle.

    PMID:38892330 | PMC:PMC11172929 | DOI:10.3390/ijms25116142

  • Bovine somatotropin increases the pregnancy rate in fixed-time artificial insemination in beef cattle

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jun;59(6):e14642. doi: 10.1111/rda.14642.

    ABSTRACT

    This study evaluated the effect of bovine somatotropin (bST) on pregnancy rate (PR) and size of the dominant follicle (DF) on the day of intravaginal progesterone (P4) removal in protocols for fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI). Bos indicus (Nellore) females (n = 392) were distributed into three groups. The control group (CG; n = 92) received an intravaginal P4 device + estradiol benzoate on day (d)0; prostaglandin F2α on d7 (first application); removal of P4 + estradiol cypionate (EC) + PGF2α (second application) + ultrasound (US) of the DF on d9; the FTAI was performed on d11; and pregnancy diagnosis (PD) was performed on d45. The bST group (bSTG; n = 142) underwent the same protocol as the CG, except that the animals received 125 mg of bST on d7. The equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) group (eCGG; n = 158) underwent the same protocol as the CG, except that the animals received 300 IU of eCG on d9. The PRs of the bSTG, eCGG, and CG were 48%, 48%, and 35%, respectively (p < .05); the bSTG and eCGG showed greater PRs, with follicles 6-7.9 mm (p < .05) and 8-8.9 mm in diameter, respectively. The bSTG exhibited a greater dimension of the DF on d9 of the protocol (p < .05). The eCGG had higher PRs with a body condition score (BCS) of 2.5, and the bSTG had a BCS of 3.0 (p < .05). It was concluded that bST increased PR, bST showed better performance in smaller DF and larger follicular diameter on d9 of the protocol, eCG acted better on animals with lower BCSs, and bST can be used in FTAI.

    PMID:38894646 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14642

  • Effect of serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels on the superovulation response in Holstein heifers

    Vet Med Sci. 2024 Jul;10(4):e1507. doi: 10.1002/vms3.1507.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) holds potential as a biomarker for assessing the superovulation (SO) response in cattle. Nonetheless, there exists scant information regarding this aspect in the literature concerning dairy heifers. Given this gap, our objective is to explore the viability of AMH as an indicator for gauging the SO response specifically in Holstein heifers. Furthermore, our aim encompasses examining the variations in AMH levels within the same individuals before and after undergoing SO.

    METHODS: The study included 41 Holstein heifers. All heifers were superovulated and blood samples were taken both before and after the SO protocol.

    RESULTS: The findings revealed that the mean values of serum AMH concentrations before and after SO were 0.122 ng/mL (0.093-0.248 ng/mL) and 0.119 ng/mL (0.084-0.170 ng/mL), respectively. AMH concentrations in heifers were stratified into low (<0.106 ng/mL), medium (0.107-0.126 ng/mL) and high (>0.127 ng/mL) categories both before and after SO.

    CONCLUSIONS: There was no significant correlation between AMH levels in the heifers both before and after SO treatment with the number of follicles, corpora lutea, total embryos collected or embryos transferred (p > 0.05). Furthermore, this study showed that serum AMH concentrations in Holstein heifers did not change after SO treatment. In this study, as AMH levels in Holstein heifers were in a narrow range, a relationship between AMH and SO response could not be determined. In future studies, we believe that it would be more useful to plan more studies in Holstein donor heifers, taking into account the number of animals and AMH levels.

    PMID:38895914 | PMC:PMC11187849 | DOI:10.1002/vms3.1507

  • DNA replication in early mammalian embryos is patterned, predisposing lamina-associated regions to fragility

    Nat Commun. 2024 Jun 19;15(1):5247. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-49565-7.

    ABSTRACT

    DNA replication in differentiated cells follows a defined program, but when and how it is established during mammalian development is not known. Here we show using single-cell sequencing, that late replicating regions are established in association with the B compartment and the nuclear lamina from the first cell cycle after fertilization on both maternal and paternal genomes. Late replicating regions contain a relative paucity of active origins and few but long genes and low G/C content. In both bovine and mouse embryos, replication timing patterns are established prior to embryonic genome activation. Chromosome breaks, which form spontaneously in bovine embryos at sites concordant with human embryos, preferentially locate to late replicating regions. In mice, late replicating regions show enhanced fragility due to a sparsity of dormant origins that can be activated under conditions of replication stress. This pattern predisposes regions with long neuronal genes to fragility and genetic change prior to separation of soma and germ cell lineages. Our studies show that the segregation of early and late replicating regions is among the first layers of genome organization established after fertilization.

    PMID:38898078 | PMC:PMC11187207 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-024-49565-7

  • Evaluation of predictive ability of linear type gonadal traits on reproductive capacity of breeding dairy bulls

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jun;59(6):e14641. doi: 10.1111/rda.14641.

    ABSTRACT

    Dimensions of linear type traits facilitate selection of livestock for breeding and rearing. To date, use of linear type traits for selection of breeding bulls is highly concentric to scrotal circumference (SC), with probable overlook to other important traits. Present study reported the importance of various gonadal linear type traits on spermatozoa production, age-related changes in gonadal linear type traits of bulls and predictive ability of these traits on bulls’ reproductive potentials. Among all gonadal traits, testicular density (TD), scrotal volume (SV), paired testicular weight (PWT) and SC were found most important predictor variables in order, which can discriminate between good/poor breeding bulls, that is, produced frozen semen doses (FSD) or not. Dimensions of gonadal traits increased significantly up to 36 months age and thereafter, development became slow and negligible. In contrast, TD decreased by 30%, 51%, 64%, 68% and 71% at 12, 24, 36, 48 and >49 months age, respectively, from its base value at 6 months. Bulls of lower TD (≤0.88 g/cm3) had significantly higher ejaculate volume (+9%), sperm motility, sperm concentration (+100 million/mL) and sperm output (+26%)/ejaculate as compared to bulls of higher TD (>0.88 g/cm3). Discriminant function was developed using TD, SV, PWT and SC to identify bulls of superior reproductive potentials. It was concluded that among the investigated traits, TD was the strongest to discriminate between FSD and Non-FSD bulls. Therefore, our findings suggested that TD could be more potential trait than SC for dairy bulls’ breeding soundness evaluation and assessment of reproductive ability.

    PMID:38888049 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14641

  • Elecsys<sup>®</sup> AMH assay: Determination of Anti-Müllerian hormone levels and evaluation of the relationship between superovulation response in Holstein dairy cows

    Vet Med Sci. 2024 Jul;10(4):e1509. doi: 10.1002/vms3.1509.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) serves as a crucial parameter in assessing the reproductive herd life and ovarian reserve in cattle. Consequently, extensive research is conducted on AMH levels. Various measurement methods can be employed to determine AMH levels. However, to our knowledge, no study has been conducted on Holstein donors using the Elecsys® AMH kit.

    OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to determine AMH levels in donors utilising the Elecsys® AMH kit and to evaluate the relationship between superovulation response parameters and AMH levels.

    METHODS: In this study, we measured the serum AMH levels of 36 cows using the Elecsys® AMH automated assay before the superovulation protocol (1st sample) and FSH injections (2nd sample). The cows were categorised into three groups based on their AMH levels: low, medium, and high AMH.

    RESULTS: Positive correlations were identified between AMH and parameters associated with superovulation response. The high AMH level group exhibited significantly greater numbers of corpus luteum, total embryos, transferable embryos, and grade 1 embryos compared to the medium and low AMH groups (p < 0.05) There was no significant difference between AMH levels before the superovulation protocol and FSH injections(p > 0.05). Body condition score and parity did not significantly affect AMH levels in cows (p > 0.05). Also, AMH cut-off values for the number of corpus luteum, total embryo, and transferable embryos were detected as 234, 227, and 210 pg/mL, respectively.

    CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that a high serum AMH level has a positive influence on the superovulation response. AMH can be used as a reliable marker for the selection of donors in Holstein cows.

    PMID:38889090 | PMC:PMC11185223 | DOI:10.1002/vms3.1509

  • Investigating the impact of paternal age, paternal heat stress, and estimation of non-genetic paternal variance on dairy cow phenotype

    Genet Sel Evol. 2024 Jun 18;56(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s12711-024-00918-2.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: Linear models that are commonly used to predict breeding values in livestock species consider paternal influence solely as a genetic effect. However, emerging evidence in several species suggests the potential effect of non-genetic semen-mediated paternal effects on offspring phenotype. This study contributes to such research by analyzing the extent of non-genetic paternal effects on the performance of Holstein, Montbéliarde, and Normande dairy cows. Insemination data, including semen Batch Identifier (BI, a combination of bull identification and collection date), was associated with various traits measured in cows born from the insemination. These traits encompassed stature, milk production (milk, fat, and protein yields), udder health (somatic cell score and clinical mastitis), and female fertility (conception rates of heifers and cows). We estimated (1) the effects of age at collection and heat stress during spermatogenesis, and (2) the variance components associated with BI or Weekly aggregated BI (WBI).

    RESULTS: Overall, the non-genetic paternal effect estimates were small and of limited biological importance. However, while heat stress during spermatogenesis did not show significant associations with any of the traits studied in daughters, we observed significant effects of bull age at semen collection on the udder health of daughters. Indeed, cows born from bulls collected after 1500 days of age had higher somatic cell scores compared to those born from bulls collected at a younger age (less than 400 days old) in both Holstein and Normande breeds (+ 3% and + 5% of the phenotypic mean, respectively). In addition, across all breeds and traits analyzed, the estimates of non-genetic paternal variance were consistently low, representing on average 0.13% and 0.09% of the phenotypic variance for BI and WBI, respectively (ranging from 0 to 0.7%). These estimates did not significantly differ from zero, except for milk production traits (milk, fat, and protein yields) in the Holstein breed and protein yield in the Montbéliarde breed when WBI was considered.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that non-genetic paternal information transmitted through semen does not substantially influence the offspring phenotype in dairy cattle breeds for routinely measured traits. This lack of substantial impact may be attributed to limited transmission or minimal exposure of elite bulls to adverse conditions.

    PMID:38890567 | PMC:PMC11184688 | DOI:10.1186/s12711-024-00918-2

  • Dissecting loci that underpin the genetic correlations between production, fertility, and urea traits in Australian Holstein cattle

    Anim Genet. 2024 Aug;55(4):540-558. doi: 10.1111/age.13455. Epub 2024 Jun 17.

    ABSTRACT

    Unfavorable genetic correlations between milk production, fertility, and urea traits have been reported. However, knowledge of the genomic regions associated with these unfavorable correlations is limited. Here, we used the correlation scan method to identify and investigate the regions driving or antagonizing the genetic correlations between production vs. fertility, urea vs. fertility, and urea vs. production traits. Driving regions produce an estimate of correlation that is in the same direction as the global correlation. Antagonizing regions produce an estimate in the opposite direction of the global estimates. Our dataset comprised 6567, 4700, and 12,658 Holstein cattle with records of production traits (milk yield, fat yield, and protein yield), fertility (calving interval) and urea traits (milk urea nitrogen and blood urea nitrogen predicted using milk-mid-infrared spectroscopy), respectively. Several regions across the genome drive the correlations between production, fertility, and urea traits. Antagonizing regions were confined to certain parts of the genome and the genes within these regions were mostly involved in preventing metabolic dysregulation, liver reprogramming, metabolism remodeling, and lipid homeostasis. The driving regions were enriched for QTL related to puberty, milk, and health-related traits. Antagonizing regions were mostly related to muscle development, metabolic body weight, and milk traits. In conclusion, we have identified genomic regions of potential importance for dairy cattle breeding. Future studies could investigate the antagonizing regions as potential genomic regions to break the unfavorable correlations and improve milk production as well as fertility and urea traits.

    PMID:38885945 | DOI:10.1111/age.13455

  • Vaginitis with purulent vaginal discharge caused by artificial insemination using frozen Histophilus somni-contaminated semen

    Vet Microbiol. 2024 Aug;295:110147. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2024.110147. Epub 2024 Jun 6.

    ABSTRACT

    In April 2020, two cows in Japan, developed reproductive disorders accompanied by vaginitis with purulent discharge within 3 days of artificial insemination (AI) with the same lot of frozen semen. Histophilus somni was isolated from the vaginal swabs of both cows as well as from the same lot of frozen semen used for the AI. This incident marks the first reported case of H. somni infection in cattle through AI. The major outer membrane protein gene sequences and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles of the isolates were identical. Moreover, we investigated the antimicrobial activity of 12 frozen semen straws against an H. somni isolate using a disk diffusion test. These straws were sourced from five AI centers and included the same lot of semen used for the AI. Although the composition of semen diluents from individual AI centers is not publicly available, both the same lot of frozen semen used in the AI and other lots produced by the same manufacturer showed lower antimicrobial activity than semen from other manufacturers. These results strongly suggest that the two vaginitis were caused by AI using H. somni-contaminated frozen semen because of insufficient antimicrobial activity to inhibit bacterial growth. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of the six antimicrobials recommended for addition to frozen semen in isolates were below the recommended concentrations, suggesting that proper addition could have prevented this incident. This highlights the importance of conducting periodical checks on the antibacterial activity of frozen semen to prevent the transmission of pathogens via AI.

    PMID:38885549 | DOI:10.1016/j.vetmic.2024.110147

  • Effects of hormone sources on developmental competence of oocytes by ovum pickup in Japanese black cattle

    Anim Reprod Sci. 2024 Aug;267:107533. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2024.107533. Epub 2024 Jun 13.

    ABSTRACT

    Japanese Black (Wagyu) cattle donors were primed with different protocols and sources of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) for successive ovum pickup (OPU) and embryo development after in vitro fertilization (IVF). Following OPU, retrieved cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were subjected to IVF, and resulting blastocysts were transferred into recipients to evaluate implantation capability. Experiment 1: The best blastocyst development (45.3 %) and embryo yields (5.0/donor/OPU) were found with oocytes retrieved from donors treated with FSH (STIMUFOL®, Belgium) at a dosage of 150 IU per donor, compared to two others commercial FSH sources. Experiment 2: There were no differences in embryo development or yield with STIMUFOL FSH (total FSH 150 IU/donor) at a priming duration of either 60-h (Regime 1, six FSH injections) or 36-h (Regime 2, four FSH injections). Experiment 3: Compacted COCs required 22-26-h maturation in vitro (IVM) before IVF for optimal blastocyst development (36.1-41.1 %); however, short (18-h) and prolonged (30-h) IVM duration resulted in lower embryonic development. In contrast, expanded COCs resulted in inferior blastocyst development compared to compacted COCs. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that the ratio of 89.8 % cumulus compacted COCs were at the germinal vesicle (pachytene) phase while 98.9 % cumulus expanded COCs went through spontaneous meiosis from meiotic metaphase I, anaphase I, telophase I to metaphase II upon OPU retrieval (P<0.05). Pregnancy rates were not different among three FSH sources or different FSH treatments as long as embryos reached the blastocyst stage. Our study found that different sources of FSH used for Wagyu donor priming prior to OPU resulted in differential embryo development potentials, but those embryos that reached out to blastocysts had a competent implantation ability.

    PMID:38879972 | DOI:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2024.107533

  • Influence of production level, number, and stage of lactation on milk quality in compost barn systems

    An Acad Bras Cienc. 2024 Jun 7;96(3):e20221063. doi: 10.1590/0001-3765202420221063. eCollection 2024.

    ABSTRACT

    This study evaluated the influence of milk production, number of lactations, and days in milk (DIM) on the quality and composition of milk from dairy cows housed in a compost barn (CB) system. The study was carried out using a six-year database, counting 31,268 observations from 2,037 cows of European breeds. Multiparous cows showed higher fat and protein production. Lactose showed high levels for primiparous and the initial stage of lactation (4.65%) and was negatively influenced by somatic cell count (SCC). Milk urea nitrogen was higher (14.01%) from 106 to 205 days in milk, and the other components were higher at >305 days. Therefore, the solids content was higher in the first and second lactations due to the high contents of lactose, fat, and milk protein, but lactose was reduced over lactations. In contrast, high DIM increased SCC and concentrated solids due to lower milk production. The effect of milk production, stage, and lactation order on the composition and milk quality of herds housed in CB showed the same pattern as in other production systems.

    PMID:38865506 | DOI:10.1590/0001-3765202420221063

  • Outbreak of aflatoxicosis in a dairy herd induced depletion in milk yield and high abortion rate in Pakistan

    Toxicon. 2024 Aug 2;246:107799. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2024.107799. Epub 2024 Jun 10.

    ABSTRACT

    This case report investigated the outbreak of aflatoxicosis in a dairy herd in Pakistan, which resulted in 30 abortions of 40 confirmed (75%) pregnant cows in a period of 35 days and in 18.8% depression of farm average milk production for the entire herd. The analysis of the concentrate feed of the total mixed ration (TMR), using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) procedures from two different local laboratories, indicated concentrations of 60 μg/kg dry matter (DM) of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and 100 μg/kg DM of total aflatoxins (AFs: sum of B1, B2, G1 and G2). Subsequently, a confirmatory analysis with a more sensitive and validated multi-metabolite liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS/MS) method was performed. This analysis detected a concentration of total AFs in the TMR of 166 μg/kg DM ± 3.5 (AFB1:134, AFB2:17.4 and AFM1:14.9 μg/kg DM). The concentrate feed (55% of the TMR DM) was confirmed as a source of contamination, presenting a concentration >29 times higher than the EU-maximum limit value (5.68 μg/kg DM). Additionally, the multi-mycotoxin analysis evidenced the co-occurrence of 81 other toxic and potentially toxic fungal metabolites in the fed TMR. After replacing the contaminated concentrate feed with feedstuffs of the same formulation but from a new charge of ingredients, the abortion episodes ceased, and milk production increased significantly. In conclusion, the data of this case report suggest that AFs may be associated with pregnancy losses in dairy cattle and milk production depression. From the public health perspective, the data also indicate the need for a more careful examination of dairy animal feed in Pakistan. Since the high concentration of AFB1 detected in feed and considering the literature-reported transfer rates (1-6%) of this toxin to AFM1 (carcinogen for humans) in milk, the milk produced during the outbreak period is expected to be contaminated with AFM1, which raises public health concerns.

    PMID:38866254 | DOI:10.1016/j.toxicon.2024.107799

  • Genome-wide association and expression quantitative trait loci in cattle reveals common genes regulating mammalian fertility

    Commun Biol. 2024 Jun 12;7(1):724. doi: 10.1038/s42003-024-06403-2.

    ABSTRACT

    Most genetic variants associated with fertility in mammals fall in non-coding regions of the genome and it is unclear how these variants affect fertility. Here we use genome-wide association summary statistics for Heifer puberty (pubertal or not at 600 days) from 27,707 Bos indicus, Bos taurus and crossbred cattle; multi-trait GWAS signals from 2119 indicine cattle for four fertility traits, including days to calving, age at first calving, pregnancy status, and foetus age in weeks (assessed by rectal palpation of the foetus); and expression quantitative trait locus for whole blood from 489 indicine cattle, to identify 87 putatively functional genes affecting cattle fertility. Our analysis reveals a significant overlap between the set of cattle and previously reported human fertility-related genes, impling the existence of a shared pool of genes that regulate fertility in mammals. These findings are crucial for developing approaches to improve fertility in cattle and potentially other mammals.

    PMID:38866948 | PMC:PMC11169601 | DOI:10.1038/s42003-024-06403-2

  • The role of beta-carotene in cattle infertility, mastitis and milk yield: A systematic review and meta-analysis

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jun;59(6):e14634. doi: 10.1111/rda.14634.

    ABSTRACT

    The impact of beta-carotene on cattle fertility has been investigated in various studies; however, consensus on this issue has not been reached. In the present study, we systematically reviewed and meta-analysed 29 publications conducted between 1984 and 2022, focusing on seven fertility measures, clinical mastitis and milk yield in cows. We did not find statistically significant results in 8 out of 11 parameters (p > .05). Statistically significant results were observed for milk yield (MD: 216.25 kg in 305 days, p = .01, CI: 50.73-381.77), pregnancy at first service (OR: 1.38 CI: 1.08-1.76, p = .01) and clinical mastitis (OR: 0.59, CI: 0.44-0.80, p = .006) in favour of beta-carotene supplementation. The meta-regression revealed significant effects of ‘plasma beta-carotene levels’ on ‘service to per pregnancy’ and dose on ‘milk yield’ (p = .04 and p = 0). In binary outcomes, ‘dose × day’ and ‘plasma beta-carotene concentration in the control group’ positively influenced pregnancy at first service (p = .02 and .03). In conclusion, given the positive point direction observed for some variables and insignificant results for others, there is a need for more studies. We note the very high heterogeneity of outcomes and suggest caution in interpreting results.

    PMID:38860761 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14634

  • Change in the incidence of stillbirth in Japanese Black cattle during the animal movement restrictions and suspended insemination

    PLoS One. 2024 Jun 11;19(6):e0304867. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0304867. eCollection 2024.

    ABSTRACT

    We aimed to characterize the change in the incidence of stillbirth (IS) in Japanese Black cattle during and after animal movement restrictions and suspended insemination because of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Miyazaki Prefecture in 2010. Calving data from 2006 to 2018 were collected from approximately 900 farms. Post-FMD period was divided into three based on the median IS per month (1.80%): period 1 (May 2011 to February 2013), period 2 (March 2013 to August 2015), and period 3 (September 2015 to December 2018). The ISs were similar during the Pre-FMD period and Post-FMD period 1, then substantially decreased during Post-FMD period 2 (p < .05), before returning to the value before the FMD outbreak period during Post-FMD period 3. Compared with the Pre-FMD period, Post-FMD period 1 was associated with a higher proportion of calvings by primiparous cows and Post-FMD period 2 was associated with a smaller number of calvings per month (p < .05). There were high ISs in primiparous cows during the Pre-FMD period, Post-FMD period 1, and Post-FMD period 3 (p < .05), but not during Post-FMD period 2. In summary, after the animal movement restrictions and suspended insemination introduced because of the FMD outbreak, the IS temporarily decreased and consequently returned to the pre-FMD level.

    PMID:38861526 | PMC:PMC11166273 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0304867

  • Comprehensive analysis of differentially expressed mRNAs, circRNAs, and miRNAs and their ceRNA network in the testis of cattle-yak, yak, and cattle

    Genomics. 2024 Jul;116(4):110872. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2024.110872. Epub 2024 Jun 6.

    ABSTRACT

    Cattle-yak is a hybrid offspring resulting from the crossbreeding of yak and cattle, and it exhibits substantial heterosis in production performance. However, male sterility in cattle-yak remains a concern. Reports suggest that noncoding RNAs are involved in the regulation of spermatogenesis. Therefore, in this study, we comprehensively compared testicular transcription profiles among cattle, yak, and cattle-yak. Numerous differentially expressed genes (DEGs), differentially expressed circRNAs (DECs), and differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) were identified in the intersection of two comparison groups, namely cattle versus cattle-yak and yak versus cattle-yak, with the number of DEGs, DECs, and DEMs being 4968, 360, and 59, respectively. The DEGs in cattle-yaks, cattle, and yaks were mainly associated with spermatogenesis, male gamete generation, and sexual reproduction. Concurrently, GO and KEGG analyses indicated that DEC host genes and DEM source genes were involved in the regulation of spermatogenesis. The construction of a potential competing endogenous RNA network revealed that some differentially expressed noncoding RNAs may be involved in regulating the expression of genes related to testicular spermatogenesis, including miR-423-5p, miR-449b, miR-34b/c, and miR-15b, as well as previously unreported miR-6123 and miR-1306, along with various miRNA-circRNA interaction pairs. This study serves as a valuable reference for further investigations into the mechanisms underlying male sterility in cattle-yaks.

    PMID:38849017 | DOI:10.1016/j.ygeno.2024.110872

  • Presence of pathogen DNA in milk harvested from quarters is associated to changes in cows' milk yield and composition

    BMC Vet Res. 2024 Jun 7;20(1):249. doi: 10.1186/s12917-024-04083-y.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: Intramammary infection is the result of invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in the mammary gland and commonly leads to mastitis in dairy animals. Although much has been done to improve cows’ udder health, mastitis remains a significant and costly health issue for dairy farmers, especially if subclinical. In this study, quarter milk samples from clinically healthy cows were harvested to detect pathogens via quantitative PCR (qPCR) and evaluate changes in individual milk traits according to the number of quarters infected and the type of microorganism(s). A commercial qPCR kit was used for detection of Mycoplasma bovis, Mycoplasma spp., Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus uberis, Prototheca spp., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., Enterococcus spp. and Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis. Quarter and pooled milk information of 383 Holstein, 132 Simmental, 129 Rendena, and 112 Jersey cows in 9 Italian single-breed herds was available.

    RESULTS: Among the cows with pathogen(s) present in at least 1 quarter, CNS was the most commonly detected DNA, followed by Streptococcus uberis, Mycoplasma bovis, and Streptococcus agalactiae. Cows negative to qPCR were 206 and had the lowest milk somatic cell count. Viceversa, cows with DNA isolated in ≥ 3 quarters were those with the highest somatic cell count. Moreover, when major pathogens were isolated in ≥ 3 quarters, milk had the lowest casein index and lactose content. In animals with pathogen(s) DNA isolated, the extent with whom milk yield and major solids were impaired did not significantly differ between major and minor pathogens.

    CONCLUSIONS: The effect of the number of affected quarters on the pool milk quality traits was investigated in clinically healthy cows using a commercial kit. Results remark the important negative effect of subclinical udder inflammations on milk yield and quality, but more efforts should be made to investigate the presence of untargeted microorganisms, as they may be potentially dangerous for cows. For a smarter use of antimicrobials, analysis of milk via qPCR is advisable – especially in cows at dry off – to identify quarters at high risk of inflammation and thus apply a targeted/tailored treatment.

    PMID:38849801 | PMC:PMC11157801 | DOI:10.1186/s12917-024-04083-y

  • Feeding live yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) improved performance of mid-lactation dairy cows by altering ruminal bacterial communities and functions of serum antioxidation and immune responses

    BMC Vet Res. 2024 Jun 7;20(1):245. doi: 10.1186/s12917-024-04073-0.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: The utilization of live yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, YE) in dairy cows is gaining traction in dairy production as a potential strategy to improve feed efficiency and milk yield. However, the effects of YE on dairy cow performance remain inconsistent across studies, leaving the underlying mechanisms unclear. Hence, the primary aim of this study was to investigate the impact of YE supplementation on lactation performance, ruminal microbiota composition and fermentation patterns, as well as serum antioxidant capacity and immune functions in dairy cows.

    RESULTS: Supplementation with YE (20 g/d/head) resulted in enhancements in dairy cow’s dry matter intake (DMI) (P = 0.016), as well as increased yields of milk (P = 0.002) and its components, including solids (P = 0.003), fat (P = 0.014), protein (P = 0.002), and lactose (P = 0.001) yields. The addition of YE led to significant increases in the concentrations of ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) (P = 0.023), acetate (P = 0.005), propionate (P = 0.025), valerate (P = 0.003), and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) (P < 0.001) in rumen fermentation parameters. The analysis of 16s rRNA gene sequencing data revealed that the administration of YE resulted in a rise in the relative abundances of three primary genera including Ruminococcus_2 (P = 0.010), Rikenellaceae_RC9_gut_group (P = 0.009), and Ruminococcaceae_NK4A214_group (P = 0.054) at the genus level. Furthermore, this increase was accompanied with an enriched pathway related to amino acid metabolism. Additionally, enhanced serum antioxidative (P < 0.05) and immune functionalities (P < 0.05) were also observed in the YE group.

    CONCLUSIONS: In addition to improving milk performance, YE supplementation also induced changes in ruminal bacterial community composition and fermentation, while enhancing serum antioxidative and immunological responses during the mid-lactation stage. These findings suggest that YE may exert beneficial effects on both rumen and blood metabolism in mid-lactation dairy cows.

    PMID:38849835 | PMC:PMC11157803 | DOI:10.1186/s12917-024-04073-0

  • Using expression data to fine map QTL associated with fertility in dairy cattle

    Genet Sel Evol. 2024 Jun 6;56(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s12711-024-00912-8.

    ABSTRACT

    BACKGROUND: Female fertility is an important trait in dairy cattle. Identifying putative causal variants associated with fertility may help to improve the accuracy of genomic prediction of fertility. Combining expression data (eQTL) of genes, exons, gene splicing and allele specific expression is a promising approach to fine map QTL to get closer to the causal mutations. Another approach is to identify genomic differences between cows selected for high and low fertility and a selection experiment in New Zealand has created exactly this resource. Our objective was to combine multiple types of expression data, fertility traits and allele frequency in high- (POS) and low-fertility (NEG) cows with a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on calving interval in Australian cows to fine-map QTL associated with fertility in both Australia and New Zealand dairy cattle populations.

    RESULTS: Variants that were significantly associated with calving interval (CI) were strongly enriched for variants associated with gene, exon, gene splicing and allele-specific expression, indicating that there is substantial overlap between QTL associated with CI and eQTL. We identified 671 genes with significant differential expression between POS and NEG cows, with the largest fold change detected for the CCDC196 gene on chromosome 10. Our results provide numerous candidate genes associated with female fertility in dairy cattle, including GYS2 and TIGAR on chromosome 5 and SYT3 and HSD17B14 on chromosome 18. Multiple QTL regions were located in regions with large numbers of copy number variants (CNV). To identify the causal mutations for these variants, long read sequencing may be useful.

    CONCLUSIONS: Variants that were significantly associated with CI were highly enriched for eQTL. We detected 671 genes that were differentially expressed between POS and NEG cows. Several QTL detected for CI overlapped with eQTL, providing candidate genes for fertility in dairy cattle.

    PMID:38844868 | PMC:PMC11154999 | DOI:10.1186/s12711-024-00912-8

  • In vitro developmental competence of bovine demi-embryos generated by blastomere separation and blastocyst bisection

    Reprod Domest Anim. 2024 Jun;59(6):e14627. doi: 10.1111/rda.14627.

    ABSTRACT

    The efficiency of bovine in vitro embryo production can be significantly improved by splitting embryos at different stages. However, the blastocyst quality of in vitro-produced demi-embryos remains unexplored. The objective of this research was to compare embryo developmental rates and quality of bovine demi-embryos produced by two different strategies: (a) embryo bisection (BSEC) and (b) 2-cell blastomere separation (BSEP). To determine demi-embryos quality, we evaluated total blastocyst cell number and proportion of SOX2+ cells. Additionally, the expression of SOX2, NANOG, OCT4, CDX2, IFNT, BAX and BCL genes and let-7a and miRNA-30c Micro RNAs was analysed. BSEP resulted in improved blastocyst development, higher ICM cells and a significantly higher expression of IFNΤ than demi-embryos produced by BSEC. Let-7a, which is associated with low pregnancy establishment was detected in BSEC, while miRNA-30c expression was observed in all treatments. In conclusion, BSEP of 2-cell embryos is more efficient to improve in vitro bovine embryo development and to produce good quality demi-embryos based on ICM cell number and the expression pattern of the genes explored compared to BSEC.

    PMID:38837827 | DOI:10.1111/rda.14627


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PubMedの検索式は以下です。適宜改変してご利用ください。2016/8/12
“Reproductive Physiological Phenomena”[Mesh] AND “Cattle”[mesh] AND “English”[language]