Estimation of environmental effects and genetic parameters for somatic cell score, stress and immunological traits in Holstein cattle

젖소에 있어서 원유 중 체세포수, 스트레스 및 면역물질에 대한 환경효과와 유전모수 추정

  • Published : 2006.02.28


Milk yield and its quality traits determine the dairy enterprise profitability and sustainability. Milk quality traits including somatic cell counts (SCC) is an upcoming economic challenge for dairy farming community in Korea. This study estimated the effect of parity, stage of lactation (early, mid and late lactation) on SCC, stress (blood cortisol) and immunity (blood IgG, lymphocyte and neutrophil) traits, their heritabilities and genetic correlations between them. SCS and blood neutrophil count were significantly affected by both parity and stage of lactation, however; IgG was affected by only stage of lactation, and blood cortisol and lymphocyte were not affected by both factors. The SCS has shown increasing trend with the parity, however; the difference between first and second parity, second and third parity were not significant. The SCS in early (≤90 days) and late lactation (181≤days) were higher than that of mid lactation (91~180 days). Cortisol concentration in blood was lowest in fourth parity, however; the differences among the first three parties were not significant. The IgG was higher in fourth parity compare with first parity however; all other comparisons were noted non-significant. The IgG concentration was significantly higher in early lactation than those of mid and late lactation. The blood lymphocytes were decreased with increasing parity however the differences beyond second parity were not significant. The neutrophils were increased with the increasing lactation stage however; the difference between early and mid lactation was not significant. Although heritability of SCS was still lower, but it was meaningful value (0.09) and may be considered to improve milk quality. The genetic correlations between SCS and cortisol (-0.96), and lymphocyte (-0.76) were highly negative. Heritability of cortisol was low, however genetic correlations between cortisol and lymphocyte (0.79) was highly positive. IgG with medium heritability was correlated negatively with lymphocyte (-0.88) and neutrophil (-0.98). Lymphocyte was lowly heritable and highly correlated with neutrophil concentration (0.87).This study suggested that cortisol, IgG, lymphocyte and neutrophil being positively genetically correlation with somatic cell score could be used as alternative traits to enhance milk quality in Holstein cattle. Further studies are warranted to estimate genetic relationships between immunological and production traits to increase the genetic merit of Holstein cows for milk yield, to improve animal health and economic viability under intensive management system.


Genetic parameters;SCS;Cortisol;Lymphocyte;Neutrophil


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