The aim of this study was to estimate genetic correlations between temperament and meat quality traits in Nellore cattle. Temperament was evaluated at yearling age (approximately 550 days of age) using the crush scores (CS), flight speed (FS) and pen score (PS) tests. The animals were slaughtered at 737 ± 31 days old and meat quality traits were tenderness (measured by Warner-Bratzler shear force, SF) and marbling score (MS, using a scale from 1 = practically devoid to 10 = very abundant). Animals were genotyped with BovineHD BeadChip and GeneSeek® Genomic Profiler (GGP) HDi 80K (GeneSeek Inc., Lincoln, NE). The (co)variance components and genetic parameters were estimated by Bayesian inference via Gibbs sampling using a two-trait animal model (single-step GBLUP), which included contemporary group as a fixed effect, direct additive genetic and residual as random effects. The model also included animal age at recording (linear effect) and slaughter age (linear and quadratic effects) as covariates for temperament and meat quality traits, respectively. Heritability estimates for all traits were moderate (0.16 to 0.26). Genetic correlations between SF and temperament traits were 0.19 (CS), 0.09 (FS) and 0.19 (PS). Despite the low values, genetic correlation estimates between MS with FS and PS (rg = -0.12) were in the favorable direction, i.e. the calmest animals had highest MS. We recommend the inclusion of both temperament and meat quality traits as selection criteria in Nellore breeding programs in order to promote genetic gains for these traits. Keywords: flight speed, tenderness.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Behaviour, , 693, 2018
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