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Pheromones for modulating reproduction in cattle

biological potential of oestrus-related substances in intra- and inter-species chemical communication

Nordéus, Kristina (2012). Pheromones for modulating reproduction in cattle. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2012:40
ISBN 978-91-576-7676-4
[Doctoral thesis]

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Declining dairy cow fertility, largely attributable to increasing milk yields, is of major
concern to dairy farmers worldwide. New tools for reproductive management, to
replace exogenous hormones, would be of great interest. Chemical communication in
cattle has been suggested to cause modifications of the oestrous cycle. Here,
reproductive parameters were monitored in ten dairy heifers during five oestrous
cycles. They were exposed to distilled water (control) or oestrous urine and vaginal
mucus (treatment). Four of them were also subjected to intensive blood sampling to
study the treatment effect on the LH pulsatility pattern (LHP) preceding the
preovulatory LH surge (LHS).We found that the treatment had significant effects on
when the different signs of oestrus occurred and on the intensity of oestrus expression.
There was a tendency for treatment to have an effect on LHS characteristics whereas
LHP was significantly affected by the treatment. To find a quick bioassay to detect
bioactive bovine body fluids, two heifers and two bulls were exposed to different body
fluids while their heart rates were registered. Although the exposure caused significant
effects, they were not of sufficient magnitude to be useful. Further attempts to find a
bioassay to identify oestrus-specific compounds included using the face fly as a
biological detector. Female flies were allowed to choose between either oestrous (OU)
or luteal urine (LU) and distilled water (control) in a Y-tube olfactometer. Flies were
significantly repelled by OU, but not by LU. Gas chromatography coupled with
electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) revealed no behaviourally active, oestrusspecific
compounds. Comparison of chromatograms, however, showed that cetyl
alcohol was more abundant in OU than in LU. When tested at different doses, the
lowest dose of cetyl alcohol was found to attract flies, while the second lowest dose
was repellent.

We found effects of exposure to body fluids on cyclicity in heifers, as well as on
heart rate in cattle, which supports the existence of bovine pheromones. We also found
that the face fly could discriminate between OU and LU, probably based on the amount
of cetyl alcohol in the samples. Neither monitoring of heart rate, nor using the face fly
as a biological detector, were suitable bioassays for detection of bovine pheromones.

Authors/Creators:Nordéus, Kristina
Title:Pheromones for modulating reproduction in cattle
Subtitle:biological potential of oestrus-related substances in intra- and inter-species chemical communication
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :May 2012
Number of Pages:90
I.K. Nordéus, R. Båge, H. Gustafsson, P. Humblot, L. Söderquist (2012). The influence of oestrous substances on cyclicity and oestrous behaviour in dairy heifers. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 54:26 doi: 10.1186/1751-0147-54-26 (in press).
II.K. Nordéus, R. Båge, H. Gustafsson, L. Söderquist (2012). Changes in LH pulsatility profiles in dairy heifers during exposure to oestrous urine and vaginal mucus. Reproduction in Domestic Animals doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2012.01997.x.
III.K. Nordéus, E. Jergil, R. Båge, N. Lundeheim, F. Hultén, L. Söderquist(2012). The effects of pheromones on heart rate in bulls and heifers. Veterinary Record doi: 10.1136/vr.100583.
IV.K. Nordéus, R. Glinwood, B. Webster, R. Ignell, G. Birgersson, T. Lindblom, R. Båge, L. Söderquist. Using the female face fly (Musca autumnalis) as a biological detector to identify oestrus-specific volatile compounds in cow urine. Manuscript.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Dept. of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7676-4
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L53 Animal physiology - Reproduction
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Clinical Science
Agrovoc terms:heifers, dairy cows, bulls, heart rate, pheromones, oestrous cycle, fertility, body fluids, oestrus synchronization, musca autumnalis, bioassays, analytical methods
Keywords:Pheromone, Cattle, Oestrous synchrony, Biological detector, Face fly
Permanent URL:
ID Code:8894
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: Kristina Nordéus
Deposited On:22 May 2012 08:47
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:51

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