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Archivos de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1885-4494Print version ISSN 0004-0592


FARIA, L.C. et al. Genetic analysis of reproductive traits in Brahman Cattle. Arch. zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.61, n.236, pp.559-567. ISSN 1885-4494.

Aiming to establish selection criteria for the Brahman cattle in Brazil, the objective of this paper was to estimate genetic and environmental parameters for birth weight (BW), gestation length (GL) and scrotal circumference at 365 (SC365), 455 (SC455) and 550 (SC 550) days of age, and relative efficiency of indirect versus direct selection for these traits. Data were obtained from 15 851 animals belonging to 16 herds in six states, enrolled in a genetic breeding program. (Co)variance and heritability coefficients and genetic and environmental correlations between traits were estimated by restricted maximum likelihood (REML) under a multi trait animal model. The model included as fixed effects the contemporary group and the age of cow at calving as a covariate (linear and quadratic), and as random the direct genetic, the permanent environmental and residual effects. For BW and GL it was also considered the maternal genetic effect as random. Estimates of direct heritabilities were 0.36, 0.29, 0.55, 0.43 and 0.40 for BW, GL, SC365, SC455 and SC550, respectively. Genetic correlations between BW and GL, GL and SC365, GL and SC455, GL and SC550, SC365 and SC455, SC365 and SC550 and SC455 and SC550, were respectively 0.06, 0.13, 0.20, 0.13, 0.96, 0.98 and 0.99. The heritabilities estimates for all traits indicated these show enough additive genetic variability to respond favorably to selection. For sexual precocity, the best option would be SC365, due to the high value of heritability and to indirect selection at this age being more efficient than direct selection for PE455.

Keywords : Birth weight; Genetic parameters; Gestation length; Relative efficiency of selection; Scrotal circumference.

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