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Journal of Applied Genetics 48(3), 2007, pp. 241-245

Y chromosome polymorphism in various breeds of cattle (Bos taurus) in Switzerland

Gerald F. Stranzinger, Dagmar Steiger, Josef Kneubuhler, Christian Hagger

Abstract: The evolutionary development of mammals involves mutations and fixations of chromosomal types. The Y chromosome polymorphism in cattle is important for the breeding strategy, since chromosomal incompatibilities in crossings result in fertility problems. In bulls of various breeds in Switzerland, data on chromosome status have been collected for over 20 years. Data from 7 years were analysed in this study through chromosome measurements and their normalization. Some highly significant differences were found between the 7 groups of breeds, especially between Holsteins and the original Swiss breeds Braunvieh and Simmental. Fleckvieh (purebred or crossbred) did not differ significantly from Black or Red Holsteins. The results were discussed with respect to fertility problems. The observed Y chromosome polymorphism should be taken into account in breeding, and research in this field should be continued.

Key words: Bos taurus, Y chromosome, polymorphism, Swiss breeds, Braunvieh, Simmental.

Correspondence: G. Stranzinger, Im Grund 27, CH 8123 Ebmatingen, Switzerland

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