Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) for Male Bovine Fertility



Genetic tests for diseases and specific traits exist for farm animals, yet none have been successfully developed to identify highly fertile male cattle. Dr. Liu has discovered a genetic marker for identifying more fertile bovine male cattle with applications in both the dairy and beef industries. Dairy cattle fertility declined steadily for both cows and sires from 1959 to 1995 and only started slowing in the late 1990s. With this, much attention has been focused on improving the Sire Conception Rate (SCR) which documents confirmed pregnancies. Artificial Insemination (AI) is widely used in the cattle industry. Sires selected for AI represent investments of several hundreds of thousands of dollars to several millions of dollars. For the dairy industry, improving the 21-day pregnancy rate by even 1% has been shown to have the economic equivalence of improving milk yield by roughly 200 pounds per cow/year. This technology covers a test for detecting improved fertility of male cattle that can be used with both dairy and ranch cattle. This method has proven successful at producing semen exhibiting a higher rate of successful impregnation. This DNA-based technology will significantly improve the design of new Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) strategies using Y haplotypes as an aid in selecting sires at an earlier age prior to entering a breeding program and eliminate potential genetic defects associated with reduced fertility. This, in turn, has the potential to significantly reduce maintenance costs, prior to breeding either as yearlings or mature bulls.

Benefits & Advantages:

Breakthrough genetic marker for identifying more fertile bovine males

The method can be used for both artificial insemination and natural mating.

Applicable to both Dairy and Beef cattle

Technology Overview:

Dr. Liu has discovered Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) genetic markers from Y-chromosome-related genes that allow animal breeders/producers to haplotype high fertility, low fertility and sub-/in-fertility bulls. The method can be used for both artificial insemination and natural mating.

Intellectual Property:

UNR ID#: UNR07-012

Title: Association of SNPs of the Bovine-Deleted-in-Azoopermia-Like (bDAZ) Gene with Male Fertility

Patent Pending

Patent Information:
Life Sciences
For Information, Contact:
Dan Langford
Technology Commercialization, Manager
University of Nevada, Reno and Desert Research Institute
Wansheng Liu
Aihua Wang