• The integration of ‘omic’ disciplines and systems biology in cattle breeding

      Berry, Donagh; Meade, Kieran G; Mullen, Michael P.; Butler, Stephen T.; Diskin, Michael G.; Morris, Dermot G.; Creevey, Christopher J.; Science Foundation Ireland; 07/SRC/B1156 (Cambridge University Press, 2010-10)
      Enormous progress has been made in the selection of animals, including cattle, for specific traits using traditional quantitative genetics approaches. Never the less, considerable variation in phenotypes remains unexplained, and therefore represents potential additional gain for animal production. In addition, the paradigm shift in new disciplines now being applied to animal breeding represents a powerful opportunity to prise open the ‘black box’ underlying the response to selection and fully understand the genetic architecture controlling the traits of interest. A move away from traditional approaches of animal breeding toward systems approaches using integrative analysis of data from the ‘omic’ disciplines represents a multitude of exciting opportunities for animal breeding going forward as well as providing alternatives for overcoming some of the limitations of traditional approaches such as the expressed phenotype being an imperfect predictor of the individual’s true genetic merit, or the phenotype being only expressed in one gender or late in the lifetime of an animal. This review aims to discuss these opportunities from the perspective of their potential application and contribution to cattle breeding. Harnessing the potential of this paradigm shift also poses some new challenges for animal scientists – and they will also be discussed
    • Invited review: Milk lactose—Current status and future challenges in dairy cattle

      Costa, Angela; Lopez-Villalobos, N.; Sneddon, N.W.; Shalloo, Laurence; Franzoi, Marco; de Marchi, M.; Penasa, M.; University of Padova, Italy; DOR1721792/17 (Elsevier, 2019-05-10)
      Lactose is the main carbohydrate in mammals' milk, and it is responsible for the osmotic equilibrium between blood and alveolar lumen in the mammary gland. It is the major bovine milk solid, and its synthesis and concentration in milk are affected mainly by udder health and the cow's energy balance and metabolism. Because this milk compound is related to several biological and physiological factors, information on milk lactose in the literature varies from chemical properties to heritability and genetic associations with health traits that may be exploited for breeding purposes. Moreover, lactose contributes to the energy value of milk and is an important ingredient for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Despite this, lactose has seldom been included in milk payment systems, and it has never been used as an indicator trait in selection indices. The interest in lactose has increased in recent years, and a summary of existing information about lactose in the dairy sector would be beneficial for the scientific community and the dairy industry. The present review collects and summarizes knowledge about lactose by covering and linking several aspects of this trait in bovine milk. Finally, perspectives on the use of milk lactose in dairy cattle, especially for selection purposes, are outlined.