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Multi-trait assessment of early-in-life female, male and genomic measures for use in genetic selection to improve female reproductive performance of Brahman cattle

Barwick, S. A. and Johnston, D. J. and Holroyd, R. G. and Walkley, J. R. W. and Burrow, H. M. (2014) Multi-trait assessment of early-in-life female, male and genomic measures for use in genetic selection to improve female reproductive performance of Brahman cattle. Animal Production Science, 54 (1). pp. 97-109. ISSN 1836-0939; 1836-5787

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/an13134

Abstract

Early-in-life female and male measures with potential to be practical genetic indicators were chosen from earlier analyses and examined together with genomic measures for multi-trait use to improve female reproduction of Brahman cattle. Combinations of measures were evaluated on the genetic gains expected from selection of sires and dams for each of age at puberty (AGECL, i.e. first observation of a corpus luteum), lactation anoestrous interval in 3-year-old cows (LAI), and lifetime annual weaning rate (LAWR, i.e. the weaning rate of cows based on the number of annual matings they experienced over six possible matings). Selection was on an index of comparable records for each combination. Selection intensities were less than theoretically possible but assumed a concerted selection effort was able to be made across the Brahman breed. The results suggested that substantial genetic gains could be possible but need to be confirmed in other data. The estimated increase in LAWR in 10 years, for combinations without or with genomic measures, ranged from 8 to 12 calves weaned per 100 cows from selection of sires, and from 12 to 15 calves weaned per 100 cows from selection of sires and dams. Corresponding reductions in LAI were 60-103 days or 94-136 days, and those for AGECL were 95-125 or 141-176 days, respectively. Coat score (a measure of the sleekness or wooliness of the coat) and hip height in females, and preputial eversion and liveweight in males, were measures that may warrant wider recording for Brahman female reproduction genetic evaluation. Pregnancy-test outcomes from Matings 1 and 2 also should be recorded. Percentage normal sperm may be important to record for reducing LAI and scrotal size and serum insulin-like growth factor-I concentration in heifers at 18 months for reducing AGECL. Use of a genomic estimated breeding value (EBV) in combination with other measures added to genetic gains, especially at genomic EBV accuracies of 40%. Accuracies of genomic EBVs needed to approach 60% for the genomic EBV to be the most important contributor to gains in the combinations of measures studied.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Science > Botany > Genetics
Deposited On:19 Jun 2014 05:32
Last Modified:19 Jun 2014 05:32

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