Christine Baes

Christine Baes
University of Guelph / University of Bern · Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock / Vetsuisse Faculty

About

239
Publications
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1,344
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Publications

Publications (239)
Article
Full-text available
Genomic information can contribute significantly to the increase in accuracy of genetic predictions compared to using pedigree relationships alone. The main objective of this study was to compare the prediction ability of pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction (PBLUP) and single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) models. Turkey records of feed con...
Article
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Background: Feather damage (FD) resulting from feather pecking remains a concern in non-cage housing systems for laying hens worldwide. This study aimed to identify bird-, housing-, and management-related factors associated with FD in non-cage housing systems as the egg production sector phases out the conventional cage system in Canada. A survey...
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The objective of this study was to estimate phenotypic and genetic parameters for clutch and broodiness (BR) traits in turkeys and their relationship with body weight and egg production. Data on dam line hens was available and included: body weight at 18 wk of age (BW18), body weight at lighting (BWL, 29 to 33 wk), age at first egg (AFE), egg numbe...
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Feed efficiency has been widely studied in many areas of dairy science and is currently seeing renewed interest in the field of breeding and genetics. A critical part of determining how efficiently an animal utilizes feed is accurately measuring individual dry matter (DM) in- take. Currently, multiple methods are used to measure feed intake or dete...
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Feather damage (FD) due to feather pecking behavior is an ongoing welfare concern among commercial egg-laying hens. Canada’s current transition from conventional cage housing to alternative housing systems, where FD can spread easily within large flocks, underlines the need for frequent and accurate assessment of plumage condition. A standardized m...
Conference Paper
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The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic architecture of milk composition traits (i.e., protein and fat percentages), in first and later lactations, for the Canadian Alpine and Saanen dairy goat breeds. A total of 24 unique single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were significantly associated with the traits at the genome-wise level. Thes...
Conference Paper
Rumination time was assessed as an indicator trait to improve sustainability in dairy cattle. This study contained 6,203 records on 611 mid-first lactation Canadian Holstein cows. Animal models for rumination time and methane emissions, and repeatability animal models for milk yield and dry matter intake were utilized in bivariate analyses to estim...
Article
Pro$ is a Canadian economic selection index aimed to maximize profit by increasing production yields, while maintaining conformation and functional traits. Currently, there is an interest in understanding the individual contributions of conformation traits recorded in Canada to the overall economic value of a cow and whether they are equally import...
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Conformation traits are functional traits known to affect longevity, production efficiency, and profitability of dairy goats. However, genetic progress for these traits is expected to be slower than for milk production traits due to the limited number of herds participating in type classification programs, and often lower heritability estimates. Ge...
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The underlying genetic mechanisms affecting turkey growth traits have not been widely investigated. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) is a powerful approach to identify candidate regions associated with complex phenotypes and diseases in livestock. In the present study, we performed GWAS to identify regions associated with 18-week body weight...
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Due to the increasing prevalence of growth-related myopathies and abnormalities in turkey meat, the ability to include meat quality traits in poultry breeding strategies is an issue of key importance. In the present study, genetic parameters for meat quality traits and their correlations with body weight and meat yield were estimated using a popula...
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Wing flapping and body movement can occur during the slaughter of poultry. Wing movement and flapping are driven primarily by the breast muscles ( Pectoralis major and minor ), and this muscle activity may have implications for meat quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate turkey post mortem activity during slaughter at a commercial pou...
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To efficiently meet consumer demands for high-quality lean meat, turkeys are selected for increased meat yield, mainly by increasing breast muscle size and growth efficiency. Over time, this has altered muscle morphology and development rates, which are believed to contribute to the prevalence of myopathies. White striping is a myopathy of economic...
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Although selection for increased milk production traits has led to a genetic increase in body weight (BW), the genetic gain in milk production has exceeded the gain in BW, so gross feed efficiency has improved. Nonetheless, greater gains may be possible by directly selecting for a measure of feed efficiency. Australia first introduced Feed Saved (F...
Conference Paper
Feed efficiency (FE) has become a trait of major focus for breeding organizations worldwide. An increasing number of countries are now recording dry matter intake (mostly in research herds) to bolster the estimation of FE-related genomic breeding values. Selection for FE based on data recorded in early lactation may be unfavourable, as cows are in...
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Injurious pecking can cause a wide range of damage and is an important welfare and economic issue in turkey production. Aggressive pecking typically targets the head/neck (HN) area, and feather pecking typically targets the back/tail (BT) area; injuries in these separate areas could be used as a proxy for the level of aggressive and feather pecking...
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Genomic evaluations are routine in most plant and livestock breeding programs but are used infrequently in dairy goat breeding schemes. In this context, the purpose of this study was to investigate the use of the single-step genomic BLUP method for predicting ge-nomic breeding values for milk production traits (milk, protein, and fat yields; protei...
Conference Paper
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The aims of this study were to: 1) update the Australian (dairy) breeding value (ABV) for lifetime residual feed intake (RFIlife, covering RFI at the growth and lactation stages) using 3,711 Holstein female records (584 Australian cows, 824 Australian heifers and 2,440 foreign cows) using a multivariate model and 2) re-evaluate the Feed Saved ABV i...
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Background The advent of genomic information and the reduction in the cost of genotyping have led to the use of genomic information to estimate genomic inbreeding as an alternative to pedigree inbreeding. Using genomic measures, effects of genomic inbreeding on production and fertility traits have been observed. However, there have been limited stu...
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Pendulous crop (PC) in the turkey occurs when the crop distends from its normal position, thereby preventing the movement of feed and water from the crop down into the digestive system. This condition negatively impacts the turkey industry at both production and welfare levels. In this study, we estimated the genetic parameters for PC incidence and...
Conference Paper
Stillbirth is an ethically and economically important trait in several production systems. Copy number variants (CNV) may contribute to reduce the frequency of stillbirths in dairy cattle. Therefore, association analyses of high-confidence CNV regions with stillbirth traits were carried out in this study. Four stillbirth traits were evaluated: stil...
Article
The aim of this study was to determine the association between occurrence and intensity of estrous expression with pregnancy success in recipient lactating dairy cows subjected to embryo transfer (ET). Two observational studies were conducted. Holstein cows were synchronized using the same timed ET protocol, based on estradiol and progesterone in b...
Article
Recent issues in the dairy industry related to both animal and public health concerns are leading farmers away from the use of drugs, while placing more focus on animal health and welfare. Public demands are also shifting towards ensuring socially acceptable production practices in terms of good animal health and welfare. Such challenges are moving...
Article
In the dairy industry, mate allocation is mainly based on the parents’ breeding values and inbreeding coefficients aiming to achieve the producer’s breeding goal. With artificial insemination, the portfolio of sires to choose from is large and the quality of the semen doses is standardized. However, not all sire-dam matings are equally likely to pr...
Article
Increased focus on sustainability is driving a need for environmental efficiency traits in dairy cattle breeding. Breeding for reduced emission of methane, an inevitable product of fermentation in ruminants, is increasingly being explored. Methods to measure methane emissions vary but can be impacted by cow behaviour. As part of an on-going project...
Article
Genetically selecting animals that are heat tolerant can help to maintain production efficiency of the dairy industry under thermal challenges. During the summer months in Canada, dairy cows could be under thermal stress. For instance, in Ontario, cows are expected to be 105 days under thermal stress. The objective of this study was to estimate gen...
Article
Genetic improvement of health, welfare, efficiency, and fertility traits is challenging due to expensive and fuzzy phenotypes, the polygenic nature of traits, antagonistic genetic correlations to production traits and low heritabilities. Nevertheless, many organizations have introduced large-scale genetic evaluations for such traits in routine sele...
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Temperature stress (TS) is a significant issue in poultry production, which has implications for animal health and welfare, productivity, and industry profitability. Temperature stress, including both hot (heat stress) and cold conditions (cold stress), is associated with increased incidence of meat quality defects such as pale, soft, and exudative...
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Footpad dermatitis (FPD) can be a prevalent issue in commercial turkey production. This study aimed to identify the bird, housing, and management-related factors associated with the prevalence of FPD in the Canadian turkey flocks. A questionnaire and flock health scoring system were developed and disseminated to ∼500 commercial turkey farmers acros...
Article
Heat stress imposes a challenge to the dairy industry, even in northern latitudes. In this study, publicly available weather station data was combined with test-day records for milk, fat, and protein yields to identify the temperature-humidity index (THI) thresholds at which heat load starts affecting milk production traits in Canadian Holstein cow...
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Estrus detection has become more difficult over the years due to decreases in the estrus expression of high-producing dairy cows, and increased herd sizes and animal density. Through the use of hormonal synchronization protocols, also known as timed artificial insemination (TAI) protocols, it is possible to alleviate some of the challenges associat...
Conference Paper
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With an increasing number of poultry meat products being downgraded due to poor quality and muscle myopathies the use of genetic selection for meat quality traits in turkeys should be considered. Selection for meat quality has been successfully implemented in other livestock species and adaptation of these programs could be applied in turkey breedi...
Article
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The aim of this study was to determine the association between concentrations of progesterone (P4) during previous the estrous cycle with the intensity of spontaneous or estrogen-induced estrous expression and pregnancy per artificial insemination (P/AI) . A total of 1,953 AI events from lactating Holstein cows were used, consisting of 1,289 timed...
Article
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The massive improvement in food production, as a result of effective genetic selection combined with advancements in farming practices, has been one of the greatest achievements of modern agriculture. For instance, the dairy cattle industry has more than doubled milk production over the past five decades, while the total number of cows has been red...
Article
Individual variation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stress could contribute to variable stress resiliency of livestock. During stress events, the innate immune system can also become activated and work in concert with the neuroendocrine system to restore homeostasis, while minimizing tissue damage. The purpose of this...
Conference Paper
Enhanced disease resistance is an important goal in dairy breeding. One of the major global diseased in cattle is enzootic bovine leukosis. This chronic, contagious disease is caused by the bovine leukemia virus (BLV) and is spread through the transmission of infected lymphocytes. Clinical leukosis takes approximately 5 years to manifest and result...
Conference Paper
Genomic breeding values (GEBVs) predicted based solely on single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers may represent only a part of the true breeding values (TBVs) of animals. To increase the correlation between GEBVs and TBVs, copy number variations (CNVs) might be useful, as they can capture part of the genetic variation not accounted for by SNPs...
Article
The use of multiple-breed models can increase the accuracy of estimated breeding values (EBV) when few phenotypes are available for a trait. However, pooling breeds is not always beneficial for genomic evaluations due to the low consistency of gametic phase between individual breeds. The objective of this study was to compare the expected gain in a...
Article
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Background: Egg production traits are economically important in poultry breeding programs. Previous studies have shown that incorporating genomic data can increase the accuracy of genetic prediction of egg production. Our objective was to estimate the genetic and phenotypic parameters of such traits and compare the prediction accuracy of pedigree-...
Article
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Phenological differences in energy demand (i.e., reproductive status) might influence the measurement of corticosterone. The objective of this study was to compare corticosterone concentrations in feathers (FCORT) and plasma (PCORT) for turkey hens before and during egg laying. Secondary feathers 1 and 3, and a plasma sample were collected from 50...
Conference Paper
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Feed efficiency is an important aspect of dairy cattle productivity. Animals that consume less feed while producing the same amount of milk have the potential to reduce costs without reducing production. The physiology of lactation must be taken into account when selecting for improved feed efficiency. Peak lactation occurs 6 to 8 weeks after calvi...
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The detrimental effects of increased homozygosity due to inbreeding have prompted the development of methods to reduce inbreeding. The detection of runs of homozygosity (ROH), or contiguous stretches of homozygous marker genotypes, can be used to describe and quantify the level of inbreeding in an individual. The estimation of inbreeding coefficien...