Genetic analysis of carcass traits in beef cattle using random regression models

TM Englishby, G Banos, KL Moore, MP Coffey, RD Evans, DP Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Livestock mature at different rates depending, in part, on their genetic merit; therefore, the optimal age at slaughter for progeny of certain sires may differ. The objective of the present study was to examine sire-level genetic profiles for carcass weight, carcass conformation, and carcass fat in cattle of multiple beef and dairy breeds, including crossbreeds. Slaughter records from 126,214 heifers and 124,641 steers aged between 360 and 1,200 d and from 86,089 young bulls aged between 360 and 720 d were used in the analysis; animals were from 15,127 sires. Variance components for each trait across age at slaughter were generated using sire random regression models that included quadratic polynomials for fixed and random effects; heterogeneous residual variances were assumed across ages. Heritability estimates across genders ranged from 0.08 (±0.02) to 0.34 (±0.02) for carcass weight, from 0.24 (±0.02) to 0.42 (±0.01) for conformation, and from 0.16 (±0.03) to 0.40 (±0.02) for fat score. Genetic correlations within each trait across ages weakened as the interval between ages compared lengthened but were all >0.64, suggesting a similar genetic background for each trait across different ages. Eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the additive genetic covariance matrix revealed genetic variability among animals in their growth profiles for carcass traits, although most of the genetic variability was associated with the height of the growth profile. At the same age, a positive genetic correlation (0.60 to 0.78; SE ranged from 0.01 to 0.04) existed between carcass weight and conformation, whereas negative genetic correlations existed between fatness and both conformation (–0.46 to 0.08; SE ranged from 0.02 to 0.09) and carcass weight (–0.48 to –0.16; SE ranged from 0.02 to 0.14) at the same age. The estimated genetic parameters in the present study indicate genetic variability in the growth trajectory in cattle, which can be exploited through breeding programs and used in decision support tools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1354 - 1364
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume94
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 2016

Fingerprint

carcass characteristics
beef cattle
genetic techniques and protocols
age at slaughter
carcass weight
genetic correlation
sires
dairy breeds
genetic merit
animal growth
beef carcasses
trajectories
bulls
slaughter
heritability
beef
livestock
genetic variation
gender
cattle

Bibliographical note

1026926

Keywords

  • Carcass weight
  • Cattle
  • Conformation
  • Fat
  • Legendre polynomials
  • Random regression

Cite this

Englishby, TM ; Banos, G ; Moore, KL ; Coffey, MP ; Evans, RD ; Berry, DP. / Genetic analysis of carcass traits in beef cattle using random regression models. In: Journal of Animal Science. 2016 ; Vol. 94, No. 4. pp. 1354 - 1364.
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Genetic analysis of carcass traits in beef cattle using random regression models. / Englishby, TM; Banos, G; Moore, KL; Coffey, MP; Evans, RD; Berry, DP.

In: Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 94, No. 4, 2016, p. 1354 - 1364.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Englishby, TM

AU - Banos, G

AU - Moore, KL

AU - Coffey, MP

AU - Evans, RD

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AB - Livestock mature at different rates depending, in part, on their genetic merit; therefore, the optimal age at slaughter for progeny of certain sires may differ. The objective of the present study was to examine sire-level genetic profiles for carcass weight, carcass conformation, and carcass fat in cattle of multiple beef and dairy breeds, including crossbreeds. Slaughter records from 126,214 heifers and 124,641 steers aged between 360 and 1,200 d and from 86,089 young bulls aged between 360 and 720 d were used in the analysis; animals were from 15,127 sires. Variance components for each trait across age at slaughter were generated using sire random regression models that included quadratic polynomials for fixed and random effects; heterogeneous residual variances were assumed across ages. Heritability estimates across genders ranged from 0.08 (±0.02) to 0.34 (±0.02) for carcass weight, from 0.24 (±0.02) to 0.42 (±0.01) for conformation, and from 0.16 (±0.03) to 0.40 (±0.02) for fat score. Genetic correlations within each trait across ages weakened as the interval between ages compared lengthened but were all >0.64, suggesting a similar genetic background for each trait across different ages. Eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the additive genetic covariance matrix revealed genetic variability among animals in their growth profiles for carcass traits, although most of the genetic variability was associated with the height of the growth profile. At the same age, a positive genetic correlation (0.60 to 0.78; SE ranged from 0.01 to 0.04) existed between carcass weight and conformation, whereas negative genetic correlations existed between fatness and both conformation (–0.46 to 0.08; SE ranged from 0.02 to 0.09) and carcass weight (–0.48 to –0.16; SE ranged from 0.02 to 0.14) at the same age. The estimated genetic parameters in the present study indicate genetic variability in the growth trajectory in cattle, which can be exploited through breeding programs and used in decision support tools.

KW - Carcass weight

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