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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Quantitative Genetics

Genetic evaluation of calving to first insemination using natural and artificial insemination mating data1


This article in

  1. Vol. 82 No. 2, p. 362-367
    Received: May 26, 2003
    Accepted: Oct 14, 2003

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. K. A. Donoghue2,
  2. R. Rekaya3,
  3. J. K. Bertrand and
  4. I. Misztal
  1. Animal and Dairy Science Department, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2771


Mating and calving records for 51,084 first-parity heifers in Australian Angus herds were used to examine the relationship between probability of calving to first insemination (CFI) in artificial insemination and natural service (NS) mating data. Calving to first insemination was defined as a binary trait for both sources of data. Two Bayesian models were employed: 1) a bivariate threshold model with CFI in AI data regarded as a trait separate from CFI in NS data and 2) a univariate threshold model with CFI regarded as the same trait for both sources of data. Posterior means (SD) of additive variance in the bivariate analysis were similar: 0.049 (0.013) and 0.075 (0.021) for CFI in AI and NS data, respectively, indicating lack of heterogeneity for this parameter. A similar trend was observed for heritability in the bivariate analysis, with posterior means (SD) of 0.025 (0.007) and 0.048 (0.012) for AI and NS data, respectively. The posterior means (SD) of the additive covariance and corresponding genetic correlation between the traits were 0.048 (0.006) and 0.821 (0.138), respectively. Differences were observed between posterior means for herd-year variance: 0.843 vs. 0.280 for AI and NS data, respectively, which may reflect the higher incidence of 100% conception rates within a herd-year class (extreme category problem) in AI data. Parameter estimates under the univariate model were close to the weighted average of the corresponding parameters under the bivariate model. Posterior means (SD) for additive, herd-year, and service sire variance and heritability under the univariate model were 0.063 (0.007), 0.56 (0.029), 0.131 (0.013), and 0.036 (0.007), respectively. These results indicate that, genetically, cows with a higher probability of CFI when mated using AI also have a high probability of CFI when mated via NS. The high correlation between the two traits, along with the lack of heterogeneity for the additive variance, implies that a common additive variance could be used for AI and NS data. A single-trait analysis of CFI with heterogeneous variances for herd-year and service sire could be implemented. The low estimates of heritability indicate that response to selection for probability of calving to first insemination would be expected to be low.

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