Analysis of genetic correlations of hip height with selection indices and mature weight in Nelore cattle
Data de publicação2013-01-25
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Body size is directly related to the productive and reproductive performance of beef cattle raised under free-range conditions. In an attempt to better plan selection criteria, avoiding extremes in body size, this study estimated the heritabilities and genetic correlations of yearling hip height (YH) and mature hip height (MH) with selection indices obtained at weaning (WI) and yearling (YI) and mature weight (MW). Data from 102,373 Nelore animals born between 1984 and 2010, which belong to 263 farms that participate in genetic evaluation programmes of beef cattle conducted in Brazil and Paraguay, were used. The (co)variance components and genetic parameters were estimated by Bayesian inference in multi-trait analysis using an animal model. The mean heritabilities for YH, MH and MW were 0. 56 ± 0. 06, 0. 47 ± 0. 02 and 0. 42 ± 0. 02, respectively. The genetic correlation of YH with WI (0. 13 ± 0. 01) and YI (0. 11 ± 0. 01) was practically zero, whereas a higher correlation was observed with MW (0. 22 ± 0. 03). Positive genetic correlations of medium magnitude were estimated between MH and WI and YI (0. 23 ± 0. 01 and 0. 43 ± 0. 02, respectively). On the other hand, a high genetic correlation (0. 68 ± 0. 03) was observed between the indicator traits of mature body size (MH and MW). Considering the top 20 % of sire (896 sires) in terms of breeding values for the yearling index, the rank sire correlations between breeding values for MH and MW was 0. 62. In general, the results indicate that selection based on WI and YI should not lead to important changes in YH. However, an undesired correlated response in mature cow height is expected, particularly when selection is performed using YI. Therefore, changes in the body structure of Nelore females can be obtained when MH and MW is used as a selection criterion for cows. © 2012 Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan.
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