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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368904

Research Project: Sustainable Small Farm and Organic Grass and Forage Production Systems for Livestock and Agroforestry

Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center

Title: Relationship between anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and reproductive traits in ewes

item ACHARYA, MOHAN - University Of Arkansas
item HOWELL, BERLIN - University Of Arkansas
item Burke, Joan
item RORIE, RICK - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2018
Publication Date: 2/1/2019
Citation: Acharya, M., Howell, B., Burke, J.M., Rorie, R.R. 2019. Relationship between anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and reproductive traits in ewes. Southern Section American Society of Animal Science Meeting. 97(Suppl. 1)73.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Objective was to determine correlations between serum AMH and reproductive traits in ewes. Blood was collected at breeding from Katahdin ewes between 0.7 and 9 yr age in 2015 (n = 158) and 2017 (n =233) for the analysis of serum AMH concentrations using different immunoassays (Equine and Ovine AMH in 2015 and Ovine AMH in 2017; AnshLab). Relationships between AMH and first exposure pregnancy rate (PR) to spring or fall breeding, number of lambs born to first lambing, age at first lambing (using lifetime records), and estimated breeding values (EBVs) for number of lambs born (NLB), number of lambs weaned (NLW), maternal weaning weight (MWT), weaning weight (WWT), and maternal index were determined. Correlations were determined using PROC CORR (SAS), and PROC GLM used with AMH or AMH quartile as dependent or independent variables, and season in models. Serum AMH or quartiles did not correlate with any reproductive trait. In 2017 but not 2015, AMH concentrations (P = 0.02) and quartiles (P = 0.04) were greater in ewes that became pregnant than nonpregnant ewes to first breeding. Ewes that were pregnant at a younger age had a higher WWT (P = 0.002), NLW (P = 0.04) and Index (P = 0.02), and more prolific ewes at first lambing had a higher NLB (P < 0.001), NLW (P < 0.001), and Index (P < 0.001), regardless of season of first breeding. Mean PR was -4.6 ± 3.8% and 68.4 ± 3.8% for spring and fall breeding (P < 0.001), resulting in older spring compared with fall bred ewes at first lambing (2.04 ± 0.08 vs. 1.52 ± 0.05 yr, P < 0.001). While AMH did not appear to consistently predict fertility in ewes, higher EBVs (NLB, NLW, Index) were associated with younger ewes and greater prolificacy at first lambing.