Heritability estimates and genetic correlations for body weight and scrotal circumference adjusted to 12 and 18 months of age for male Nellore cattle


Heritability estimates and genetic correlations were obtained for body weight and scrotal circumference, adjusted, respectively, to 12 (BW12 and SC12) and 18 (BW18 and SC18) months of age, for 10 742 male Nellore cattle. The adjustments to SC12 and SC18 were made using a nonlinear logistic function, while BW12 and BW18 were obtained by linear adjustment. The contemporary groups (CGs) were defined from animals born on the same farm, in the same year and birth season. The mean heritability estimates obtained using the restricted maximum likelihood method in bi-trait analysis were 0.25, 0.25, 0.29 and 0.42 for BW12 BW18, SC12 and SC18, respectively. The genetic correlations were 0.30 +/- 0.11, 0.21 +/- 0.13, 0.21 +/- 0.11, -0.08 +/- 0.15, 0.16 +/- 0.12 and 0.89 +/- 0.04 between the traits BW12 and BW18; BW12 and SC12; BW12 and SC18; BW18 and SC12; BW18 and SC18; and SC12 and SC18. The heritability for SC18 was considerably greater than for SC12 suggesting that this should be included as a selection criterion. The genetic correlation between BW18 and SC12 was close to zero, indicating that these traits did not influence each other The contrary occurred between SC12 and SC18, indicating that selection using one of these could alter the other Because of the mean magnitudes of heritabilities in the various measurements of weight and scrotal perimeter it is suggested that the practice of individual selection for these traits is possible.



Beef cattle, Nonlinear model, Genetic parameter, adjusted weights

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Animal. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press, v. 3, n. 3, p. 347-351, 2009.