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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


BOLIGON, A.A. et al. Multi-trait and random regression mature weight heritability and breeding value estimates in Nelore cattle. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.5, pp.145-148. ISSN 2221-4062.

Mature weight breeding values were estimated using a multi-trait animal model (MM) and a random regression animal model (RRM). Data consisted of 82 064 weight records from 8 145 animals, recorded from birth to eight years of age. Weights at standard ages were considered in the MM. All models included contemporary groups as fixed effects, and age of dam (linear and quadratic effects) and animal age as covariates. In the RRM, mean trends were modelled through a cubic regression on orthogonal polynomials of animal age and genetic maternal and direct and maternal permanent environmental effects were also included as random. Legendre polynomials of orders 4, 3, 6 and 3 were used for animal and maternal genetic and permanent environmental effects, respectively, considering five classes of residual variances. Mature weight (five years) direct heritability estimates were 0.35 (MM) and 0.38 (RRM). Rank correlation between sires' breeding values estimated by MM and RRM was 0.82. However, selecting the top 2% (12) or 10% (62) of the young sires based on the MM predicted breeding values, respectively 71% and 80% of the same sires would be selected if RRM estimates were used instead. The RRM modelled the changes in the (co)variances with age adequately and larger breeding value accuracies can be expected using this model.

Keywords : Beef cattle; different models; growth.

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