Article Text

Bos taurus Y chromosome of Africander cattle and the development of improved breeds for the tropics
  1. CR Halnan and
  2. J Francis

Abstract

The Africander has anatomical and other characteristics of an animal of approximately 3/4 Bos indicus heredity. The fact that these cattle carry the Bos taurus Y chromosome supports this view and indicates that the local cattle in South Africa would have been crossed with one or more Bos taurus bulls. Droughtmaster and Braford cattle retain the Bos indicus Y chromosome because Bos indicus instead of Bos taurus bulls were used to establish these taurindicus breeds. Contrary to some assumptions, an approximate tenfold increase in productivity of cattle was made during the 18th and 19th centuries due to improvements in disease control, nutrition and genetic improvement. What is now needed is the development of taurindicus breeds combining to the maximum possible extent the disease resistance and hardiness of Bos indicus with the early maturity and productivity of Bos taurus cattle. In addition, the ravages of disease and the seasonal variations of food supply need to be overcome in tropical areas.

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