Estimates of genetic parameters for scrotal circumference using random regression models in Nelore cattle

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Boligon, A. A. [UNESP]
Baldi, Fernando [UNESP]
Albuquerque, Lucia Galvão de [UNESP]

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Elsevier B.V.


A total of 15,901 scrotal circumference (SC) records from 5300 Nelore bulls, ranging from 229 to 560 days of age, were used with the objective of estimating (co)variance functions for SC, using random regression models. Models included the fixed effects of contemporary group and age of dam at calving as covariable (linear and quadratic effects). To model the population mean trend, a third order Legendre polynomial on animal age was utilized. The direct additive genetic and animal permanent environmental random effects were modeled by Legendre polynomials on animal age, with orders of fit ranging from 1 to 5. Residual variances were modeled considering 1 (homogeneity of variance) or 4 age classes. Results obtained with the random regression models were compared to multi-trait analysis. (Co)variance estimates using multi-trait and random regression models were similar. The model considering a third- and fifth-order Legendre polynomials for additive genetic and animal permanent environmental effects, respectively, was the most adequate to model changes in variance of SC with age. Heritability estimates for SC ranged from 0.24 (229 days of age) to 0.47 (300 days of age), remained almost constant until 500 days of age (0.52), decreasing thereafter (0.44). In general, the genetic correlations between measures of scrotal circumference obtained from 229 to 560 days of age decreased with increasing distance between ages. For genetic evaluation scrotal circumference could be measured between 400 and 500 days of age. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



Beef cattle, Legendre polynomials, Genetic correlation, Sexual precocity

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Livestock Science. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 137, n. 1-3, p. 205-209, 2011.