PMID: 7082236Feb 1, 1982Paper

Breeding for resistance to Boophilus microplus in Australian Illawarra Shorthorn and Brahman x Australian Illawarra Shorthorn cattle

Australian Veterinary Journal
K B Utech, R H Wharton


Breeding for resistance to the cattle tick Boophilus microplus was undertaken in a herd of Australian Illawarra Shorthorn (AIS) cattle from 1961 to 1978 and in a herd of Braham x AIS cattle from 1970 to 1979. Breeder cows and their progeny were assessed for tick resistance during October to January. Resistance levels were determined as the average percentage mortality of female ticks from two artificial infestations with cohorts of c 20,000 larvae. Resistance increased from 89.2% to 99% in the AIS breeding herd, as a result of the yearly introductions of more resistant individuals and culling of less resistant ones. Concurrently resistance in the AIS progeny increased from 93.7% to 97.7%, thus demonstrating that the selection and breeding of the cows and bulls resulted in genetic improvement in the resistance of the progeny. Milk production tests on heifers from the selected AIS herd during 1975 to 79 indicated that selection for tick resistance did not select against milk production. Resistance of the Brahman x AIS increased from 98.4% to 99.3% in the breeding herd and from 97.6% to 99.6% in the progeny. Female calves of both breeds were more resistant than males.


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Related Concepts

Animal Husbandry
Bos indicus
Cattle Diseases
Resistance, Natural
Selection, Genetic
Tick Infestations

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