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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #214391

Title: Relationship of lactate dehydrogenase activity with body measeurements of Angus x Charolais cows and calves

item Looper, Michael

Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2007
Publication Date: 2/13/2008
Citation: Looper, M.L., Neidecker, T.P., Johnson, Z.B., Rosenkrans, C.F. 2008. Relationship of lactate dehydrogenase activity with body measeurements of Angus x Charolais cows and calves. Professional Animal Scientist. 24:60-66

Interpretive Summary: Profitability of beef operations is associated with the sale of weaned calves. Measurement of the cow’s nutritional status before calving may be helpful in predicting future calf performance; however, research is lacking. Scientists at USDA-ARS in Booneville, AR and University of Arkansas determined cows with reduced lactate dehydrogenase, a glycolytic enzyme, before calving had calves that were taller and heavier at weaning. These results indicate that knowledge of this enzyme activity before calving may help in selection of superior calves earlier in the production cycle enhancing profitability of cow-calf operations. This information is important to extension personnel, animal scientists, and beef producers.

Technical Abstract: Angus x Charolais cows (n = 87) and their Angus-sired, spring-born calves (n = 86) were utilized to examine relationships between lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and body measurements of beef cows; and the relationship between maternal LDH activity in late gestation and subsequent calf birth weight (BRW), hip height at weaning (CALFHH), and adjusted weaning weight (205WW). At 62 d prepartum, cow BW, BCS, and hip height (COWHH) were recorded, and cow longissimus muscle area (LMA), intramuscular fat percentage (IMF), and back fat (BF) were measured via ultrasonography. A blood serum sample was collected from each cow and concentrations of LDH activity were determined and ranked (mean ± 1 SD) into three categories. Cows with low reverse LDH activity had calves with increased (P < 0.05) CALFHH and 205WW compared with calves from cows with high LDH activity. Cow LMA was correlated (P < 0.05) with cow BW, BCS, and COWHH, and with 205WW of calves. The first canonical correlation between the set of cow traits including LMA, BF, and IMF was correlated (P = 0.02) with 205WW and CALFHH. A linear combination of cow LMA and reverse LDH activity were correlated (P < 0.01) to a linear combination of 205WW and CALFHH. Decreased reverse LDH activity in prepartum cows was associated with taller and heavier calves at weaning.