Saturday, February 18, 2017

Understanding bulls' gene-rich Y chromosomes may improve herd fertiliy

This article talks about a better understanding on how cattle and other mammals evolved, as well as help animal breeders and farmers better maintain and enhance fertility in the cattle industry. Scientists identified 1,274 genes in the male specific region of the bovine Y chromosome, compared to the 31 to 78 genes associated in the Y chromosomes of various primates. Understanding genetic diversity may give farmers another tool for managing their herds to improve male fertility. The researchers analyzed the expression of the entire Y-linked genes as the bull aged, beginning soon after the bull's birth, during puberty and then again after the bull matured. 

I think that this will help farmers and breeders in the long run for cattle. They understand low fertility is a big problem for the dairy and beef industry, which means it's time to pay more attention to male fertility now. What I find interesting is that most animal breeders and farmers select bulls based on physical characteristics, such as the size of the testis. They think this because the Y chromosome is only found in males and only passed through the male line.

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