Submitted to: Review Article
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2008
Publication Date: 2/20/2009
Citation: Cushman, R.A., Allan, M.F., Kuehn, L.A. 2009. Achievements of Research in Reproduction Sciences. In: Rosati, A., Tewolde, A., Mosconi, C., editors. Animal Production and Animal Science Worldwide - WAAP Book of the Year 2007. The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers. p. 59-65.
Technical Abstract: Genetic applications to improving fertility in farm animals have been limited due to the nature of the phenotypes. Most reproductive phenotypes are sex-limited and many are binomial in nature, making the calculation of genetic parameters difficult. However, in recent years, the genetic parameters of a number of reproductive traits with economic importance to cattle producers have been reported, and chromosomal regions associated with some of these traits have been identified. These traits could provide genetic markers of fertility; however, only 1% of cows at USMARC fail to conceive in two consecutive breeding seasons. This would suggest that environmental factors play a large role in reproductive efficiency, and that biomarkers of fertility may be a better management tool than genetic markers of fertility. Therefore, the use of modern molecular technologies to improve reproductive management (i.e., Functional Genomics, Marker Assisted Management, and Pharmacogenetics) may provide an additional tool that will allow producers to enhance reproduction through genetic selection and(or) pharmaceutical intervention based on individual genetics.