Covariance functions for body weight from birth to maturity in Nellore cows
Data de publicação2010-03-01
Direito de acesso
MetadadosExibir registro completo
The objective of this study was to estimate (co)variance functions using random regression models on Legendre polynomials for the analysis of repeated measures of BW from birth to adult age. A total of 82,064 records from 8,145 females were analyzed. Different models were compared. The models included additive direct and maternal effects, and animal and maternal permanent environmental effects as random terms. Contemporary group and dam age at calving (linear and quadratic effect) were included as fixed effects, and orthogonal Legendre polynomials of animal age (cubic regression) were considered as random co-variables. Eight models with polynomials of third to sixth order were used to describe additive direct and maternal effects, and animal and maternal permanent environmental effects. Residual effects were modeled using 1 (i.e., assuming homogeneity of variances across all ages) or 5 age classes. The model with 5 classes was the best to describe the trajectory of residuals along the growth curve. The model including fourth- and sixth-order polynomials for additive direct and animal permanent environmental effects, respectively, and third-order polynomials for maternal genetic and maternal permanent environmental effects were the best. Estimates of (co) variance obtained with the multi-trait and random regression models were similar. Direct heritability estimates obtained with the random regression models followed a trend similar to that obtained with the multi-trait model. The largest estimates of maternal heritability were those of BW taken close to 240 d of age. In general, estimates of correlation between BW from birth to 8 yr of age decreased with increasing distance between ages.