Ephraim Ezra

Ephraim Ezra
Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires (ICBA) | ICBA · HerdBook

About

87
Publications
7,731
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,933
Citations

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
We performed a genetic analysis of age at first insemination, including estimation of the heritability and genetic correlations with other economic traits, and the consequences of including this trait in the Israeli selection index. The genetic factors affecting age at first insemination were determined via GWAS. Five data sets were analyzed. Data...
Article
Full-text available
Background Global warming has increased the frequency of heat stress in livestock. Although heat stress directly leads to negative effects on production and reproduction traits in dairy cattle, the transgenerational transition of these changes is poorly understood. We hypothesized that heat stress in pregnant cows might induce epigenetic modificati...
Article
Full-text available
Yearling weight gain in male and female Israeli Holstein calves, defined as 365 × ((weight − 35)/age at weight) + 35, was analyzed from 814,729 records on 368,255 animals from 740 herds recorded between 1994 and 2021. The variance components were calculated based on valid records from 2008 through 2017 for each sex separately and both sexes jointly...
Article
The objectives were to estimate the effects of various environmental factors on female calf survival of Israeli Holsteins, to estimate the economic value of calf survival under Israeli conditions, to estimate the genetic and environmental variance components for calf and cow survival using the individual animal model, to perform genome-wide associa...
Article
Full-text available
One of the causes of observed low fertility is embryo loss after fertilization. Previous findings suggested that more than half of fertilizations result in embryo loss before pregnancy is detected. We proposed reinsemination between 49 and 100 d after the first insemination as an indicator trait for early abortion (EA) in dairy cattle based on the...
Article
Incidences of ketosis, metritis, mastitis, and retained placenta were studied in Israeli Holstein cows calving between 2008 and 2017. These diseases were selected based on their economic impact. Ketosis, metritis, and retained placenta were scored dichotomously. Mastitis was scored as absent, a single occurrence during the lactation, or more than 1...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Crossover localization during meiotic recombination is mediated by the fast-evolving zinc-finger (ZnF) domain of gene PRDM9. To study its impact on dairy cattle performance, we compared its genetic variation between the relatively small Israeli (IL) Holsteins and the North American (US) Holsteins that count millions. Results: Initial...
Article
In 2 epidemiological studies, we evaluated the effect of mastitis induced by gram-positive Streptococcus and gram-negative Escherichia coli on impaired reproductive performance in lactating Holstein cows. In the first study, 52,202 cows from 178 dairy farms throughout Israel were divided into groups based on infection before first artificial insemi...
Article
Full-text available
The objective was to simulate the response to selection by modifying the shape of the lactation curve to improve persistency in Israeli first-parity Holstein cattle using geometric morphometrics and multivariate quantitative genetics. The 2-dimensional Cartesian coordinates representing the shape of the lactation curve were characterized using geom...
Preprint
Full-text available
Female infertility accounts for at least 50% of all human infertility cases. One of the causes contributing for female infertility is embryo loss after fertilization. Previous findings suggested that more than half of fertilizations results in embryo loss before pregnancy is detected. Dairy cattle may be a useful model for study of the genetic arch...
Article
Our objective was to combine the methods of geometric morphometrics and multivariate quantitative genetics to genetic evaluation of the size and shape of lactation curves of milk of 3,492 Israeli first-parity Holstein cattle. Lactation records were treated as morphological data, for which 2 different lactation shape functions were evaluated, one de...
Conference Paper
Routinely, genetic evaluations are based on 305-d lactations, which represent the size or magnitude of lactation curve but ignore the shape, an inherently multidimensional feature. We combined the methods of quantitative genetics and the geometric morphometrics (GM) to evaluate the heritability and genetic correlations of size and shape of lactatio...
Article
Genomic evaluation has been successfully implemented in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries. Adoption of this technology in the major dairy producing countries has led to significant changes in the worldwide dairy industry. Gradual elimination of...
Conference Paper
Concerns have been raised in the past about the Dairy Herd Improvement Association recording frequency, because the interval between samples, about 4 weeks, may not capture the peak production for cows with shorter lactation (less than 10 mo), which have led to the conclusion that these cows have an atypical lactation curve shape. This may be due t...
Article
Although it now standard practice to genotype thousands of female calves, genotyping of bull calves is generally limited to progeny of elite cows. In addition to genotyping costs, increasing the pool of candidate sires requires purchase, isolation, and identification of calves until selection decisions are made. We economically optimized via simula...
Article
The objective was to test the hypothesis that more frequent but less accurately analyzed milk components may give a more representative measure of a cow's total lactation production. Daily records for milk production and fat and protein concentration collected by the AfiLab recording system (Afimilk, Kibbutz Afikim, Israel) from January 2014 to Jan...
Article
Full-text available
A total of 1922 first generation crossbred cows born between 2005 and 2012 produced by inseminating purebred Israeli Holstein cows with Norwegian Red semen, and 7487 purebred Israeli Holstein cows of the same age in the same 50 herds were analyzed for production, calving traits, fertility, calving diseases, body condition score, abortion rate and s...
Article
Mastitis, particularly in its subclinical form, is a widely spread disease that reduces the fertility of lactating cows. A major cause of poor conception risk has been associated with delayed ovulation of a large subgroup of subclinical mastitic cows. This study examined 2 approaches to improve fertility in this subgroup. Subclinical mastitic cows...
Article
Five alternative models were applied for analysis of dystocia and stillbirth in first and second parities. Models 1 and 2 were included only to estimate the parameters required for model 4, and models 3 and 5 are included only as comparisons to the model 4 estimates. Variance components were estimated by multi-trait REML, including cows with valid...
Article
The objectives were to investigate the accuracy of genomic evaluations obtained for a small dairy cattle population (Israeli Holsteins) via joint evaluation with a larger population (Dutch Holsteins), and to evaluate the use of pedigree data from foreign bulls computed by Interbull without daughter records in Israel. The training population include...
Article
The objectives were to investigate the effects of various environmental factors that may affect herd-life of Israeli Holsteins, including first-calving age and season, calving ease, number of progeny born, and service sire for first calving in complete and truncated records; and to estimate heritabilities and genetic correlations between herd-life...
Article
Full-text available
Several studies have shown that computation of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) with accuracies significantly greater than parent average (PA) estimated breeding values (EBVs) requires genotyping of at least several thousand progeny-tested bulls. For all published analyses, GEBV computed from the selected samples of markers have lower or eq...
Article
Full-text available
Methods for genomic prediction were evaluated for an Israeli Holstein dairy population of 713,686 cows and 1,305 progeny-tested bulls with genotypes. Inclusion of genotypes of 343 elite cows in an evaluation method that considers pedigree, phenotypes, and genotypes simultaneously was also evaluated. Two data sets were available: a complete data set...
Article
Based on pairwise identity-by-state (IBS) distances and whole-genome SNP data, kinship was investigated in the Israeli Holstein population. A total of 789 bulls, including most of the artificial insemination sires in service since 1987, were genotyped by the BovineSNP50 BeadChip. This sample included up to five generations. For each bull-by-bull co...
Article
Paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) is an infectious enteric disease in dairy cattle and other species that causes substantial economic loss worldwide. In this study, two recursive Gaussian-threshold models were employed in order to infer the effects of Johne's disease on milk yield, fat yield, and protein yield while simultaneously estimating genet...
Article
Strong selection in the Israeli Holstein dairy cattle population over the last three decades should have left clear signatures of selection. Two experimental approaches were applied to detect evidence of contemporary selection based on the 54K BeadChip genotypes of ~1000 Israeli Holstein bulls: (i) the long-range haplotype test, which searches for...
Article
Full-text available
An efficient algorithm for genomic selection of moderately sized populations based on single nucleotide polymorphism chip technology is described. A total of 995 Israeli Holstein bulls with genetic evaluations based on daughter records were genotyped for either the BovineSNP50 BeadChip or the BovineSNP50 v2 BeadChip. Milk, fat, protein, somatic cel...
Article
The aim was to evaluate the effects of mastitis, determined by the pattern and level of somatic cell count (SCC) around first artificial insemination (AI), on conception rate (CR). Data from 287,192 first AI and milk records covering a 7-yr period were obtained from the Israeli Herd Book. Analyses examined the association of probability of concepti...
Article
Full-text available
A single nucleotide polymorphism in the intergenic region upstream of the ZNF496 gene on Bos taurus chromosome 7 displayed significant population-wide linkage disequilibrium with milk protein percentage in the Israeli Holstein population. The frequency of the allele associated with increased protein concentration was 10%. This single nucleotide pol...
Data
Full-text available
Detailed mathematical solution for the trinomial expansion of the Hardy-Weinberg principle. Text in PDF format.
Data
Allele distribution, χ2 test, rl and rg values for SNPs of the Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip. Spread sheet in Excel format summarizing the genotypes obtained from the 912 sire samples for all 54,001 genetic markers on BovineSNP50.
Data
Gene ontology categories in Holstein CNV. Spread sheet in Excel format.
Data
Common CNVs. Spread sheet in Excel format summarizing the positions and gene content of copy losses (red background) and copy gains (blue background) that displayed significantly high frequency by both the HWE-based and SI-based methods. Previously reported common (frequency > 2.5%) cattle CNVs are also reported using yellow and no colour backgroun...
Article
Full-text available
Copy number variation (CNV) has been recently identified in human and other mammalian genomes, and there is a growing awareness of CNV's potential as a major source for heritable variation in complex traits. Genomic selection is a newly developed tool based on the estimation of breeding values for quantitative traits through the use of genome-wide...
Article
Unlabelled: The objectives of this review are to describe the reproductive parameters monitored in Israeli dairy herds and to evaluate their changes in recent years. Eighty percent of the cows and 70% of the farms use the Israel Cattle Breeders' Association Herdbook and about 50% of them use pedometry systems. Intensive herd medicine is practiced...
Article
Full-text available
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease is caused by a Culicoides-borne Orbivirus. In cattle, the disease is characterized by reduced milk production and mortality. Recent outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) in North Africa, Israel, and Turkey increase the risk of its invasion into central and northern Europe. An outbreak of EHDV in Israe...
Article
Incorrect paternity assignment in cattle can have a major effect on rates of genetic gain. Of the 576 Israeli Holstein bulls genotyped by the BovineSNP50 BeadChip, there were 204 bulls for which the father was also genotyped. The results of 38 828 valid single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to validate paternity, determine the genotyping...
Article
Full-text available
Weight of male and female Israeli Holstein calves and yearling gain were analyzed on 285 800 records from 105 935 animals from 458 herds recorded between 1994 and 2007. The difference between the sexes increased until around 400 days, at which point the difference between males and females was 110 kg. Yearling gain, defined as 365 × (weight - 35)/a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is caused by a virus belonging to the genus Orbivirus and the family Reoviridae, which is transmitted by species of Culicoides.
Article
Twinning rate was analyzed in the Israeli Holstein dairy cattle population by the multiple-trait animal model, and a daughter design genome scan for quantitative trait loci was performed. Each parity was considered a separate trait. Heritabilities of twinning rate were very low, but increased by parity from 0.01 in first parity to 0.03 in fifth par...
Article
Persistency was defined as the predicted milk production 180 d after peak divided by peak production (in %). Heritability of persistency in a multitrait analysis including parities 1 through 5 increased from 0.16 to 0.27 from first through third parity, and then declined through fifth parity. Genetic correlations for persistency between consecutive...
Article
Use of milk urea (MU) concentration as a parameter for detection of nutritional imbalances requires identification and quantification of nutritional and nonnutritional factors that influence it. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between live body weight (BW) and MU concentration in Holstein cows. Results for the test-day me...
Article
Twelve bull calves were produced by mating elite Israeli cows to "Glenhapton Enhancer", a Canadian Holstein bull. The frequency of umbilical hernia (UH) in the progeny of the sons ranged from 1 to 21%, consistent with the hypothesis that Enhancer is the carrier of major dominant or codominant gene with partial penetrance for UH. Five sons of Enhanc...
Article
A total of 6040 Israeli Holstein cows from 181 Kibbutz herds listed as progeny of 11 sires were genotyped for 104 microsatellites. Seventeen markers were deleted due to a frequency of erroneous genotypes >1%, leaving 160,470 valid genotypes. Conflicts between the putative sire and daughter in at least 2 markers and for at least 10% of the markers g...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The study was aimed at identifying the pathogens causing subclinical udder infections in representative Israeli dairy goat herds and determining their effect on milk quality. Five hundred goats in ten flocks of various breeds and crossbreeds were surveyed. Of the 500 goats, 13.4% were in their first lactation, 36.4% were in their second lactation a...
Article
Full-text available
Milk, fat, and protein production, somatic cell score (SCS), and female fertility in the Israeli Holstein dairy cattle population were analyzed using a multitrait animal model (AM) with parities 1 through 5 as separate traits. Female fertility was measured as the inverse of the number of inseminations to conception in percent. Variance components w...
Article
Full-text available
The objectives of this study were to identify and evaluate production and environmental factors that influence milk urea (MU) in Israeli dairy herds, to analyze the relationships between MU concentration and nutritional variables, and to examine a possible association between MU and pregnancy rate (PR). Production and environmental data were obtain...
Article
Eleven Israeli Holstein families including 5221 cows were analyzed by a daughter design for eight economic traits: milk, fat and protein production, fat and protein percentage, somatic cell score (SCS), herd-life, and female fertility. The cows were genotyped for 73 microsatellites with maximum spacing between markers of 53 cM. There were 86,304 in...
Article
Full-text available
The mechanism of the effects of glandular-level subclinical mastitis in dairy sheep on milk yield and on its composition as expressed in curd yield was studied. Thirty-six Israeli-Assaf dairy sheep with one udder half infected with identified coagulase-negative staphylococci and the contralateral gland free of bacteria were chosen. The milk yield o...
Article
The present study aimed to identify the pathogens that cause subclinical udder infections in Israeli dairy sheep and evaluate their influence on milk yield and composition. Eight hundred and fifteen Israeli-Assaf and Israeli-Awassi dairy sheep were surveyed. More than half of the sheep were in their third or higher lactation (513/815 sheep) and in...
Article
A recently described new Staphylococcus aureus vaccine "MASTIVAC I" (Patent no. PTC/IL98/00627) against S. aureus udder infection elicited protection against experimentally induced infection in cows. In the present paper we describe a large-scale vaccination field trial. A total of 452 Israeli Holstein heifers were included in the study over two co...
Article
Full-text available
A population-wide linkage disequilibrium on bovine chromosome 14 between microsatellite ILSTS039 and DGAT1, a putative quantitative trait locus affecting milk production traits, was found in the Israeli Holstein population. A total of 394 bulls were genotyped for both DGAT1 and ILSTS039, and 1747 cows were genotyped for ILSTS039. The ILSTS039 allel...
Article
Blood is the standard source for DNA analysis, but requires venipuncture of cows by veterinarian and tedious and costly DNA extraction. A procedure was developed for sampling of vaginal cells from cows, establishing a cell lysis protocol using robotics, and applying fluorescent analysis of genetic markers. Two insemination technicians collected vag...
Article
Full-text available
Interbull currently uses three methods to validate genetic evaluation methodologies of member countries. In Method 3, the current genetic evaluation of each bull is analyzed as a function of its genetic evaluation four years ago. The δ factor is a function of the number of new daughters per bull during the past four years. If the evaluations are un...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the effect of calving month (CM) on the production of milk and milk protein by Israeli Holstein dairy cows located in the main climatic zone of Israel during their third and fourth lactations, and found it to be significant. Cows that calved in December produced the highest milk and milk protein yields, and those that calved in June pro...
Article
Full-text available
Nine Israeli Holstein sire families with 2978 daughters were analyzed for quantitative trait loci effects on chromosome 6 for five milk production traits by a daughter design. All animals were genotyped for 2 markers. The three families with significant effects were genotyped for up to 10 additional markers spanning positions 0-122 cM of BTA6. Two...
Article
A field trial was conducted to examine the effect of extended calving interval (CI) on production and profitability of high yielding cows (n = 937). First insemination was performed at 154 and 93 d postpartum (pp), for treatment and control primiparous cows, respectively, and at 124 and 71 d pp for treatment and control multiparous cows, respective...
Article
Full-text available
In a previous paper we analyzed the effects of day length, the daily change in day length, and heat load prevailing on test days, and on milk yield and composition of dairy cows in hot weather. For this analysis we used milk tests of three herds in Israel between 1994 and 1996. We used the same database to analyze the effects of the day length and...
Article
This investigation aimed at to analyse systematic influences on body condition scores (BCS) in Israeli-Holstein cows. Five kibbutz herds in Israel were selected for the study. The production units were situated in the coastal region of the Mediterranean. Milk production of cows was about 11,000 kg of milk in all herds with a fat content of 3.21% an...
Article
Improvement of udder health through a process of genetic selection is related to heritability and the role of the specific trait in the probability of an individual cow developing an infection. It was suggested that different patterns of leucocyte population of the healthy gland are a significant factor in mastitis. Thus, in order to analyse the he...
Article
Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are the most frequently isolated bacteria from bovine mammary gland milk samples. The objective of this study was to determine the type of inflammation evoked by CNS in the mammary gland of cows during their first lactation. Twenty-four Israeli-Holstein heifers in their first lactation were tested for bacterio...
Article
Full-text available
SSCP analysis of the bovine growth hormone (bGH) gene in Israel Holstein dairy cattle uncovered five intragenic haplotypes, denoted A to E. Of these, Haplotype E differed from the others at six fragments; one of which corresponded to the polymorphic MspI site in intron III, at which haplotype E carried the disabled MspI (-) allele. Haplotype E was...
Article
Effects of heat load and of photoperiod on lactation performance were evaluated using milk test data of three Israeli Holstein herds over a period of 3 years, from 1994 to 1996. All together 2209 cows, with 28029 milk records, were included. Photoperiod effects were examined as associated with day length and daily changes in day length and heat loa...
Article
In three field trials comprising 602 Israeli-Holstein dairy cows, the effect of the dry period ration on reproductive performance, culling rate and milk production was investigated. The cows were fed in groups. The basic dry period rations consisted for two herds of medium quality cereal hay and for one herd of corn straw, which were fed ad libitum...
Article
Full-text available
"Selective DNA pooling" accomplishes quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping through densitometric estimates of marker allele frequencies in pooled DNA samples of phenotypically extreme individuals. With poly(TG) microsatellites, such estimates are confounded by "shadow" ("stutter") bands. A correction procedure was developed on the basis of an obse...