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Kit Predicts Twinning in Cattle

From: http://www.autm.net Time:2014.07.11

Commercial cattle breeding constantly strives to improve efficiency. One relevant issue is ‘twinning,’ when multiple calves are birthed at once. Twinning is undesirable in the dairy cattle sector because less milk is produced from cows having multiple calves. On the other hand, in the beef cattle sector, multiple calves per birth can boost production.

Picture from https://www.google.com.hk

The specific genes behind twinning have not yet been identified. A better understanding would help breeders select for cattle that are more or less likely to produce multiple offspring per birth.

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a genetic test to determine the likelihood a cow or a bull’s female progeny will produce twin offspring. The test is based on the presence or absence of the ‘trio’ haplotype, which is a set of three genetic markers on bovine chromosome 10 (BTA10). In combination, these markers suggest a cow or bull has a higher propensity for twinning.


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