Effects of milk fat composition, DGAT1, and SCD1 on fertility traits in Dutch Holstein cattle

R.M. Demeter, G.C.B. Schopen, A.G.J.M. Oude Lansink, M.P.M. Meuwissen, J.A.M. van Arendonk

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, selective breeding was proposed as a means of changing the fatty acid composition of milk to improve its nutritional quality. Before implementing such breeding objectives, effects on other economically important traits should be investigated. The objectives of this study were to examine 1) the effect of milk fat composition, and 2) the effect of polymorphisms of DGAT1 and SCD1 genes on female fertility in commercial Dutch Holstein-Friesian cattle. Data on 1,745 first-lactation cows were analyzed by fitting linear mixed models. We found that higher concentrations of trans fatty acids within total milk fat negatively affected reproductive performance. Furthermore, results suggested a potential effect of the DGAT1 polymorphism on nonreturn rates for insemination 28 and 56 d after the first service. Our results can be used to assess the correlated effects of breeding for improved milk fat composition on reproduction, thereby allowing for better evaluation of breeding programs before implementation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5720-5729
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • genetic-parameters
  • reproductive traits
  • italian holsteins
  • acid-composition
  • dairy-products
  • genome scan
  • bovine-milk
  • rat ovary
  • polymorphism
  • desaturase

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