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Title: Temperament traits in cattle : measurement and preliminary genetic analysis
Author: Ball, Nia
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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The aims of this project were i) to take measures of behaviour in cattle that could be demonstrated to be reliable indicators of temperament traits, and ii) to look for areas of the genome harbouring genes involved in these traits. Behavioural tests were carried out on a large number of animals from a Charolais x Holstein cross-bred herd. Four different tests were examined for their potential to measure different temperament traits: a Flight-from-Feeder Test (FF), a Social Separation Test (SS), a Novel Object Test (NO) and a Handling Test (HA). The results of the tests were assessed using two criteria: inter-animal variability and intra-animal repeatability. The FF, SS and HA Tests showed high values in these two criteria. Experiments were then carried out to validate these three tests, by examining whether relationships were seen between responses from different test situations that were though to measure the same traits. Full validation of the three tests was not achieved. Experiments were also carried out to investigate how stable the behaviour measurements remained with increasing age. Results of SS and HA Tests carried out at four months of age were compared with those from the same tests repeated on the animals at 12 months of age. A relationship was found between SS measures from the two ages. Results from behavioural tests carried out on heifers at 10 months of age were compared with behaviour scored in the dairy parlour at 30 months. The measurements at the younger age were not predictive of adult behaviour in the diary. In order to localise areas of the genome involved in the behavioural traits, preliminary Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) analysis was carried out on four chromosomes. Associations between behavioural phenotypes from the FF and SS Tests and the inheritance of DNA markers were examined for a large number of animals. The possible effects of environmental factors on the test results were examined prior to the analysis. Four putative QTL locations were identified.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available