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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Quantitative Genetics

Genetic parameters estimated with multitrait and linear spline-random regression models using Gelbvieh early growth data1


This article in

  1. Vol. 83 No. 4, p. 757-763
    Received: Sept 13, 2004
    Accepted: Dec 28, 2004

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. H. Iwaisaki*2,
  2. S. Tsuruta†3,
  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


Estimates of direct and maternal genetic parameters in beef cattle were obtained with a random regression model with a linear spline function (SFM) and were compared with those obtained by a multitrait model (MTM). Weight data of 18,900 Gelbvieh calves were used, of which 100, 75, and 17% had birth (BWT), weaning (WWT), and yearling (YWT) weights, respectively. The MTM analysis was conducted with a three-trait maternal animal model. The MTM included an overall linear partial fixed regression on age at recording for WWT and YWT, and direct-maternal genetic and maternal permanent environmental effects. The SFM included the same effects as MTM, plus a direct permanent environmental effect and heterogeneous residual variance. Three knots, or breakpoints, were set to 1, 205, and 365 d. (Co)variance components in both models were estimated with a Bayesian implementation via Gibbs sampling using flat priors. Because BWT had no variability of age at recording, there was good agreement between corresponding components of variance estimated from both models. For WWT and YWT, with the exception of the sum of direct permanent environmental and residual variances, there was a general tendency for SFM estimates of variances to be lower than MTM estimates. Direct and maternal heritability estimates with SFM tended to be lower than those estimated with MTM. For example, the direct heritability for YWT was 0.59 with MTM, and 0.48 with SFM. Estimated genetic correlations for direct and maternal effects with SFM were less negative than those with MTM. For example, the direct-maternal correlation for WWT was −0.43 with MTM and −0.33 with SFM. Estimates with SFM may be superior to MTM due to better modeling of age in both fixed and random effects.

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