Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Animal Science, Breeding and Genetics

Committee Chair(s)

Robert C. Lamb


Robert C. Lamb


Wallace Taylor


Jeff Walters


Don Sisson


Chromosome evaluations were made on leukocyte blood samples from 169 phenotypically normal nulliparous Holstein heifers. These were from three different reproduction groups collected in sets of threes from 10 different herds in the western United States. Group 1, the control group, consisted of heifers diagnosed pregnant after one or two breedings; Group 2 consisted of heifers diagnosed pregnant after three or four breedings; and Group 3 consisted of heifers diagnosed open after four or more breedings. Metaphase chromosome spreads used in these analyses were obtained through 72-hour leukocyte cultures from heparinized whole blood. Processed cells were dropped onto a slide, air-dried, and stained with Giemsa. Chromosomes were then counted and X chromosomes were identified. A total of 1,597 cells was evaluated, with 1,439 cells having counts of 60 chromosomes each. Thirty cells had less than 58 chromosomes, 31 cells had 58 chromosomes, 75 cells had 59 chromosomes, 14 cells had 61 chromosomes, and 8 cells had more than 61 chromosomes (9.98% were different than 60). All counts of other than 60 chromosomes were isolated cases and were not identified as abnormalities. Only two cells from two separate heifers contained what may have been sex chromosome abnormalities. No persistent chromosomal defects were observed among the 169 heifers.