Bovine telomere dynamics and the association between telomere length and productive lifespan
MetadataShow full item record
Average telomere length (TL) in blood cells has been shown to decline with age in a range of vertebrate species, and there is evidence that TL is a heritable trait associated with late-life health and mortality in humans. In non-human mammals, few studies to date have examined lifelong telomere dynamics and no study has estimated the heritability of TL, despite these being important steps towards assessing the potential of TL as a biomarker of productive lifespan and health in livestock species. Here we measured relative leukocyte TL (RLTL) in 1,328 samples from 308 Holstein Friesian dairy cows and in 284 samples from 38 female calves. We found that RLTL declines after birth but remains relatively stable in adult life. We also calculated the first heritability estimates of RLTL in a livestock species which were 0.38 (SE=0.03) and 0.32 (SE=0.08) for the cow and the calf dataset, respectively. RLTL measured at the ages of one and five years were positively correlated with productive lifespan (p<0.05). We conclude that bovine RLTL is a heritable trait, and its association with productive lifespan may be used in breeding programmes aiming to enhance cow longevity.
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
Copyright: © 2018 Seeker, et al. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Version of Record