Genetics and Heritability

By: Collette Cason
 The bovine species surprisingly holds a rare
relationship with humans.
 In some cultures cattle raising were an indication of
power and strength.
 They did not know much about the history of
genetics in cattle, and still do not know much.
Present Day
 For the last 10 years across the world they have
switched from Profit Index (know) to Profitable
Lifetime Index (know).
 Cloning, and the most common way of cloning is
SCNT, which stands for somatic cell nuclear transfer.
It basically increases the production level with the
desirable traits that the breeder or breeders have
bought or picked.
 Cross breeding certain cattle enough to get one
dominate feature such as Holstein are used for there
significant milk production.
 In 1990, started using DNA and molecular cloning
for creating genome linkage maps. With these maps
scientist could identify chromosomal locations of
(OTI) (know!!).
 From the past 10 years they have become more
modified in molecular genetics. Like they can
alternate precise genotypes in thousands.
Techniques Continued
 The Gould Ranch of Fort Morgan, Colorado
ultrasounds all of their bulls and heifers. They use
this technique to see what superior carcass features
have developed in the cattle over the years and to see
what they need to do differently the next time they
 Other options are embryo transfer and AI work.
This allows you to pick a bull from where ever and
not worry about traveling and still get exactly what
you want for a low price and quick shipment.
 Spinal Muscular Atrophy – This disease is usually
found in brown European cattle breeds. Its fast
acting, and causes horrible weak legs.
 Spinal Dysmielination - affects mainly brown cattle
breeders, affects the rear end in weakness.
 Bovine progressive Degenerative
Myeloencephalopathy (“Weaver Syndrome”). The
disease cripples the hind legs, and then soon makes
cattle not able to walk.
Diseases Continued
 Spastic Paresis – This disease is caused by the
“hyperextension of the rear limbs or straight hock.
(Makes it painful and difficult to walk, they act stiff)
 Spastic Syndrome – caused from sire bulls in
Artificial insemination , affects all breeds,
intermittent bilateral spasms of the skeletal muscles
of the pelvis girdle.
 Craniofacial defects such as: Deformed cleft lip
and/or cleft plate.
Diseases Continued
 Chondrodysplasia and Congenital Paunch Calf
Syndrome - Chondrodysplasia is poor bone
development, most commonly from Italy as
“Bulldog calf” (Flat head, short nose, sloping
forehead, and short and stump limbs. Affects
 Complex Vertebral Malformation- Most worried
disease to Holstein breeder. The spinal system is
basically grown all out of place. The spine has
grown incorrect and out of place, causing other
limbs to not grow correct either.
What to Expect
Paresis 
 Spastic
Cleft Lip 
 Chondrodysplasia and
Congenital Paunch Calf
Complex Vertebral
Malformation 
Bibliography Continued
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