Abstract

Linear type traits describe the skeletal, muscular and functional characteristics of an animal and are routinely scored globally in both dairy and beef cattle. The objective of the present study was to determine if genetic co-variance components for linear type traits differed among five contrasting cattle breeds. A total of 18 linear type traits scored on 3,356 Angus (AA), 31,049 Charolais (CH), 3,004 Hereford (HE), 35,159 Limousin (LM), and 8,632 Simmental (SI) were used. Data were analyzed using animal linear mixed models which included the fixed effects of sex of the animal, the age at scoring, the parity of the dam, and the contemporary group of herd-date of scoring. Differences (p<0.05) in heritability estimates between at least two breeds existed for 13 out of 18 linear type traits. Irrespective of the breed, genetic correlations were strongest among the muscular traits (0.58 to 0.99) and among the skeletal traits (0.33 to 0.98) and weakest among the functional traits (0.01 to 0.87). However, the continental breeds (i.e. CH, LM, SI) tended to have similar heritability estimates to each other as well as similar genetic correlations among the same pairwise traits, as did the British breeds (i.e. AA, HE). Results for the present study may be used to inform genetic evaluations of the increased accuracy in considering, at least, the British breeds and continental breeds separately during analysis. Keywords: genetics, linear type traits, beef cattle, breed differences

Jennifer Doyle, Donagh P Berry, Siobhan Walsh, Roel F Veerkamp, Ross Evans, Tara R Carthy

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Electronic Poster Session - Biology - Growth and Development, , 555, 2018
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