Volume 20(2), 2021

Review Articles

Cattle breeds - contemporary views on their origin and criteria for classification: a review

Piotr Guliński

 Article in Press

Abstract. Domestic cattle descend from the aurochs, a species of wild animals, inhabiting forests of Europe and Asia in the past. All cattle originate from about 80 female aurochs domesticated in southeastern Turkey. After 10,500 years the worldwide bovine population has exceeded 1.4 billion, with two subspecies: taurus cattle (Bos taurus) and zebu cattle (Bos indicus). The former was first scientifically described by Linnaeus, who in 1758 proposed its name, used until now. The processes of cattle domestication and improvement have led to more than 1000 distinct breeds. During the last two centuries several kinds of classification have been developed in order to identify cattle breeds. Several criteria have been used, such as basic cranial type, length of the horns, skull shape, degree of domestication, production purpose, type of ancestral aurochs, geographic distribution, place of breed origin, population size, growth performance, biochemical polymorphisms and molecular-genetic methods. At present the attention of cattle farmers around the world has focused on the most productive improved breeds at the expense of less productive local ones. Modern methods, such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer, have allowed unlimited spread of breeding material around the world. This way, it has become possible to use reproductive material of different cattle breeds on an unprecedented scale in many countries. At present, many of the latter have disappeared, or their population is on the verge of extinction.

Original Research Articles

Serum concentration of folic acid in Polish Konik horses kept in a stable system and a free-roaming herd system

Marta Majszyk-Świątek, Wioleta Kowal, Agata Danielewicz, Katarzyna Andraszek

 Article in Press

Abstract. Folic acid has multi-faceted effects on the body. Its biological activity ensures genome stability and the normal course of the cell cycle. A deficiency of this acid can lead to serious consequences for health and life. Folic acid is the most oxidized form of folates taken with food. Folic acid is not produced in horses and must be ingested with food. Its bioavailability is also affected by environmental factors. The aim of the study was to analyse the content of folic acid in the blood serum of Polish Konik horses kept in a free-roaming herd system and a stable system. The folic acid concentrations in all horses were within the normal range of reference values for the species. Higher folic acid concentrations were noted in the free-roaming horses. Variation in the content of folic acid in the serum of stabled horses was higher than in the free-roaming horses. The management system was not found to significantly affect the serum content of folic acid in the horses.

The Danube Sturgeon Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Brandt & Ratzeburg, 1833 (Actinopterygii, Acipenseridae) in the Euphrates River, Iraq

Laith A. Jawad, Omar F. Al-Sheikhly, Ahmed M.H. AL-Dirawi

 Article in Press

Abstract. Acipenser gueldenstaedtii is recorded for the first time from the Euphrates River, west of Iraq. The species has not previously been mentioned as introduced to the Tigris-Euphrates River basin. There are two possibilities for this occurrence, first, the natural dispersal from adjacent Turkey and second, the aquaculture introduction. Both possibilities were discussed. Confirmation for the origin of the sporadic appearance of individuals of this species will wait for the appearance of more specimens in the inland waters of Iraq.
This Volume

Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica 20(2) 2021