1st Page



This article in

  1. Vol. 81 No. 4, p. 918-926
    Received: Apr 22, 2002
    Accepted: Dec 24, 2002

    2 Corresponding author(s):


Analyses of growth curves of Nellore cattle by multiple-trait and random regression models

  1. P. R. C. Nobre1*,
  2. I. Misztal2*,
  3. S. Tsuruta*,
  4. J. K. Bertrand*,
  5. L. O. C. Silva and
  6. P. S. Lopes
  1. Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2771;
    University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG 36571-000, Brazil; and
    Embrapa Beef Cattle, Campo Grande-MS, CEP 79106-970, Brazil


The purpose of this study was to compare estimates of genetic parameters for sequential growth of beef cattle using two models and two data sets. Growth curves of Nellore cattle were analyzed using body weights measured at ages 1 (birth weight) to 733 d. Two data samples were created, one with 71,867 records sampled from all herds (MISS), and the other with 74,601 records sampled from herds with no missing traits (NMISS). Records preadjusted to a fixed age were analyzed by a multiple-trait model (MTM), which included the effects of contemporary group, age of dam class, additive direct, additive maternal, and maternal permanent environment. Analyses were by REML, with five traits at a time. The random regression model (RRM) included the effects of age of animal, contemporary group, age of dam class, additive direct, additive maternal, permanent environment, and maternal permanent environment. All effects were modeled as cubic Legendre polynomials. These analyses were also by REML. Shapes of estimates of variances by MTM were mostly similar for both data sets for all except late ages, where estimates for MISS were less regular, and for birth weight with MISS. Genetic correlations among ages for the direct and maternal effects were less smooth with MISS. Genetic correlations between direct and maternal effects were more negative for NMISS, where few sires were maternal grandsires. Parameter estimates with RRM were similar to MTM except that estimates of variances showed more artifacts for MISS; the estimates of additive direct-maternal correlations were more negative with both data sets and approached −1.0 for some ages with NMISS. When parameters of a growth model obtained by RRM are to be used for genetic evaluation, these parameters should be examined for consistency with parameters from MTM and prior information, and adjustments may be required to eliminate artifacts.

Copyright © 2003. Copyright 2003 Journal of Animal Science