AluI polymorphism of the bovine growth hormone (GH) gene, resumption of ovarian cyclicity, milk production and loss of body condition at the onset of lactation in dairy cows

O. Balogh, K. Kovács, M. Kulcsár, A. Gáspárdy, A. Zsolnai, L. Kátai, A. Pécsi, L. Fésüs, W. R. Butler, Gy Huszenicza

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Relationships among GH genotype (AluI polymorphism), parity, metritis and interval from calving to first ovulation, milk production and body condition score (BCS) loss were determined in dairy cows (n = 307) on four large-scale farms in Hungary. Cows with systemic signs of puerperal metritis or mastitis were excluded. Time of the first postpartum (PP) ovulation was obtained from milk progesterone profiles. Based on GH genotype determination, groups of leucine homozygous cows (n = 246) and valine allele carriers (n = 61) were formed. All animals became cyclic during the study period. The average interval to first ovulation was 27.6 ± 0.69-d PP (mean ± S.D.). Genotype had no effect on the commencement of ovarian cyclicity. First ovulation occurred sooner after calving in pluriparous than in primiparous cows. The greater BCS loss cows had during the first 30-d PP, the longer they took to resume cyclic ovarian function. The interval from calving to first ovulation was substantially affected by farm, but not by mild cases of puerperal metritis. Genotype was not related to cumulative 30-d milk yield or BCS loss after calving. Primiparous cows had lower milk yield than pluriparous ones. Cows with metritis lost more body condition than healthy individuals in the first month postpartum. We concluded that, under field conditions, AluI polymorphism of the bovine GH gene had no effect on the interval from calving to first ovulation and could not be directly related to differences in milk yield and to the extent of BCS loss during the first month after calving in Holstein-Friesian cows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2009



  • Body condition
  • Dairy cow
  • GH polymorphism
  • Ovarian cyclicity
  • Postpartum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine

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