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Theriogenology. 1987 Feb;27(2):317-28.

Reproductive performance and productive traits of beef bulls selected for different levels of testosterone response to GnRH.

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CSIRO, Division of Tropical Animal Science, Tropical Cattle Research Centre, Box 5545, Rockhampton Mail Centre, Qld. 4702, Australia.


In two separate studies, one with four Hereford-Shorthorn and one with three Zebu x British crossbred bulls, the efficacy of using the testosterone response to gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH; Lutal, Hoechst) to predict differences in reproductive performance was assessed. Young bulls (17 or 29 months of age) selected for low to high (3.1 to 10.3 ng/ml) peak plasma testosterone 2 to 2.5 hours after the intramuscular injection of GnRH (62.5 to 2000 ng/kg LWT) were each later individually joined with groups of 19 to 30 cows in which estrus had been synchronized. In both studies, the rankings of bulls for overall fertility (capable cows pregnant), for libido (estrous cows mounted), and for fertilizing ability (mounted cows pregnant) were in close agreement with rankings for testosterone responses to GnRH. In the Bos indicus bulls rankings for both reproductive performance and testosterone response to GnRH were repeatable when measured at two and four years of age. Other reproductive measurements (semen quality, scrotal circumference, pen-type serving capacity tests) were less reliable predictors of reproductive performance. Measurements of liveweight gains and parasite resistance indicated that bulls superior for these characteristics do not always have satisfactory reproductive performance. These studies suggest that the testosterone response to GnRH could be a useful test to ensure that bulls selected for productive traits have adequate reproductive potential.

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