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Effect of genetic European taurine ancestry on milk yield of Ankole-Holstein crossbred dairy cattle in mixed smallholders system of Burundi highlands

Manirakiza J., Hatungumukama G., Thévenon S., Gautier M., Besbes B., Flori L., Detilleux J.. 2017. Animal Genetics, 48 (5) : p. 544-550.

Different breeding systems associated with specific bovine genetic resources have coexisted in Burundi. To prepare for the development of a national action plan for the improvement of bovine genetic resources in Burundi, we aimed at performing genetic characterization of Ankole and Ankole × European crossbred individuals and assessing the effect of European ancestry on milk productivity of cows kept under the mixed crops livestock system. To that end, we genotyped 37 Ankole and 138 crossbred individuals on 42 636 SNPs and combined these genotypes with those from 21 cattle breeds, representative of the bovine genetic diversity. We also measured milk yield not suckled and estimated suckled milk. Given the results, we confirmed the indicine × African taurine admixed origin of the Ankole in Burundi and showed that crossbred individuals present a high proportion of European ancestry (i.e. 57% on average). As the proportion of European ancestry increased, milk yield increased by 0.03 ± 0.01 l/day, at a lower extent than expected. We also observed that breeders were unable to correctly evaluate the European proportion in their livestock. Our results may provide useful information for objective dairy breeding in Burundi. As an example, an ex-situ conservation program of Ankole within the framework of value chains is proposed as an accompanying strategy to improve the sustainability of the crossbreeding program. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : polyculture élevage; système d'élevage; petite exploitation agricole; facteur de rendement; rendement laitier; amélioration des animaux; génotype; variation génétique; bovin laitier; burundi

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des animaux; Physiologie et biochimie animales; Elevage - Considérations générales

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