Genetic parameters for body weight in buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) in Colombia using random regression models

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Elsevier B.V.



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The objective of this research was to estimate (co) variance functions and genetic parameters for body weight in Colombian buffalo populations using random regression models with Legendre polynomials. Data consisted of 34,738 weight records from birth to 900 days of age from 7815 buffaloes. Fixed effects in the model were contemporary group and parity order of the mother. Random effects were direct and maternal additive genetic, as well as animal and maternal permanent environmental effects. A cubic orthogonal Legendre polynomial was used to model the mean curve of the population. Eleven models with first to sixth order polynomials were used to describe additive genetic direct and maternal effects, and animal and maternal permanent environmental effects. The residual was modeled considering five variance classes. The best model included fourth and sixth order polynomials for direct additive genetic and animal permanent environmental effects, respectively, and third-order polynomials for maternal genetic and maternal permanent environmental effects. The direct heritability increased from birth until 120 days of age (0.32 +/- 0.05), decreasing thereafter until one year of age (0.18 +/- 0.04) and increased again, reaching 0.39 +/- 0.09, at the end of the evaluated period. The highest maternal heritability estimates (0.11 +/- 0.05), were obtained for weights around weaning age (weaning age range is between 8 and 9.5 months). Maternal genetic and maternal permanent environmental variances increased from birth until about one year of age, decreasing at later ages. Direct genetic correlations ranged from moderate (0.60 +/- 0.060) to high (0.99 +/- 0.001), maternal genetic correlations showed a similar range (0.41 +/- 0.401 and 0.99 +/- 0.003), and all of them decreased as time between weighings increased. Direct genetic correlations suggested that selecting buffalos for heavier weights at any age would increase weights from birth through 900 days of age. However, higher heritabilities for direct genetic weights effects after 600 days of age suggested that selection for these effects would be more effective if done during this age period. A greater response to selection for maternal ability would be expected if selection used maternal genetic predictions for weights near weaning. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




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Livestock Science. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Bv, v. 158, n. 1-3, p. 40-49, 2013.

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