1st Page



This article in

  1. Vol. 83 No. 3, p. 537-542
    Received: Sept 13, 2004
    Accepted: Dec 10, 2004

    2 Corresponding author(s):


Estimation of correlation between maternal permanent environmental effects of related dams in beef cattle1

  1. H. Iwaisaki*,
  2. S. Tsuruta†2,
  3. I. Misztal and
  4. J. K. Bertrand
  1. Department of Agro-biology, Niigata University, Niigata 950-2181, Japan; and
    Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2771


Weaning weights from Gelbvieh (GV; n = 82,138) and Limousin (LM; n = 88,639) calves were used to estimate genetic and environmental variance components with models that included different values for the correlation (λ) between permanent environmental effects of dams and their daughters. Each analysis included fixed discrete effects of contemporary group, sex of calf, age of dam at calving, and month of calving, a fixed continuous effect of age of calf, random direct and maternal additive genetic effects, permanent environmental effects due to dams, and residual effects. The REML procedure was employed with a “grid search,” in which the likelihood was computed for a series of values for λ. For both breeds, models that included a nonzero value for λ fitted the data significantly better than the model that did not include λ. The maximum restricted likelihood was obtained for λ of approximately −0.2 for both breeds. Estimates of residual and direct genetic variances were similar for all values of λ, including zero; however, estimates of maternal genetic variance and maternal heritability increased slightly, and maternal permanent environmental variance and the proportion of the maternal variance to the total (phenotypic) variance decreased slightly, when the correlated structure for permanent environmental effects was assumed. As the value of λ became more negative, absolute values of the direct-maternal genetic covariance and direct-maternal correlation estimates were decreased. Pearson and rank correlations for direct genetic, maternal genetic, and maternal environmental effects estimated with and without λ were very high (>0.99). These results indicated that the linear relationship between maternal permanent environmental effects of dams and their daughters for weaning weight is negative but low in both breeds. Considering this relationship in the operational model did not significantly affect estimated breeding values, and thus, it may not be important in genetic evaluations.

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