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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.19.0960    [Accepted] Published online May 12, 2020.
Inclusion of bioclimatic variables in genetic evaluations of dairy cattle
Renata Negri1,*  , Ignacio Aguilar2  , Giovani Luis Feltes1  , Juliana Dementshuk Machado1  , José Braccini Neto1  , Fabiana Martins Costa Maia3  , Jaime Araujo Cobuci1,* 
1Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Rio Grande of Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, 91540-000, Porto Alegre, Brazil
2Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Institute of Agricultural Research of Uruguay, Rincón del Colorado, CA, 90200, Uruguay
3Department of Animal Science, Federal Technological University of Paraná, Dois Vizinhos, PR, 85660-000, Brazil
Correspondence:  Renata Negri, Tel: +55-51-3308-6048, Fax: +55-51-3308-6048, Email: rn.negri@yahoo.com
Jaime Araujo Cobuci,Email: jaime.cobuci@ufrgs.br
Received: 16 December 2019   • Revised: 27 March 2020   • Accepted: 28 April 2020
Considering the importance of dairy farming and the negative effects of heat stress, more tolerant genotypes need to be identified. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of heat stress via temperature-humidity index (THI) and diurnal temperature variation (DTV) in the genetic evaluations for daily milk yield of Holstein dairy cattle, using random regression models.
The data comprised 94,549 test-day records of 11,294 first parity Holstein cows from Brazil, collected from 1997 to 2013, and bioclimatic data (THI and DTV) from 18 weather stations. Least square linear regression models were used to determine the THI and DTV thresholds for milk yield losses caused by heat stress. In addition to the standard model (SM, without bioclimatic variables), THI and DTV were combined in various ways and tested for different days, totaling 41 models.
The THI and DTV thresholds for milk yield losses was THI = 74 (−0.106 kg/day/ THI) and DTV = 13 (−0.045 kg/day/ DTV). The model that included THI and DTV as fixed effects, considering the two-day average, presented better fit (−2logL, AIC and BIC). The estimated breeding values (EBVs) and the reliabilities of the EBVs improved when using this model.
Sires are re-ranking when heat stress indicators are included in the model. Genetic evaluation using the mean of two days of THI and DTV as fixed effect, improved EBVs and EBVs reliability.
Keywords: Heat Stress; Random Regression; Temperature-humidity Index, Diurnal Temperature Variation

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