Genomic and Phenotypic Udder Evaluation for Dairy Cattle Selection: A Review

Miguel A. Gutiérrez-Reinoso, Pedro M. Aponte, Manuel García-Herreros

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The traditional point of view regarding dairy cattle selection has been challenged by recent genomic studies indicating that livestock productivity prediction can be redefined based on the evaluation of genomic and phenotypic data. Several studies that included different genomic-derived traits only indicated that interactions among them or even with conventional phenotypic evaluation criteria require further elucidation. Unfortunately, certain genomic and phenotypic-derived traits have been shown to be secondary factors influencing dairy production. Thus, these factors, as well as evaluation criteria, need to be defined. Owing to the variety of genomic and phenotypic udder-derived traits which may affect the modern dairy cow functionality and conformation, a definition of currently important traits in the broad sense is indicated. This is essential for cattle productivity and dairy sustainability. The main objective of the present review is to elucidate the possible relationships among genomic and phenotypic udder evaluation characteristics to define the most relevant traits related to selection for function and conformation in dairy cattle. This review aims to examine the potential impact of various udder-related evaluation criteria on dairy cattle productivity and explore how to mitigate the adverse effects of compromised udder conformation and functionality. Specifically, we will consider the implications for udder health, welfare, longevity, and production-derived traits. Subsequently, we will address several concerns covering the application of genomic and phenotypic evaluation criteria with emphasis on udder-related traits in dairy cattle selection as well as its evolution from origins to the present and future prospects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1588
Issue number10
StatePublished - 9 May 2023


  • dairy cattle
  • evaluation criteria
  • genomic analysis
  • health
  • longevity
  • milk production
  • phenotypic traits
  • welfare


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