Unraveling the phenotypic and genomic background of behavioral plasticity and temperament in North American Angus cattle

Amanda Alvarenga, Hinayah Oliveira, SP Turner, Andre Garcia, Kelli Retallick, Stephen Miller, Luiz Brito*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Longitudinal records of temperament can be used for assessing behavioral plasticity, such as aptness to learn, memorize, or change behavioral responses based on affective state. In this study, we evaluated the phenotypic and genomic background of North American Angus cow temperament measured throughout their lifetime around the weaning season, including the development of a new indicator trait termed docility-based learning and behavioral plasticity. The analyses included 273,695 and 153,898 records for yearling (YT) and cow at weaning (CT) temperament, respectively, 723,248 animals in the pedigree, and 8784 genotyped animals. Both YT and CT were measured when the animal was loading into/exiting the chute. Moreover, CT was measured around the time in which the cow was separated from her calf. A random regression model fitting a first-order Legendre orthogonal polynomial was used to model the covariance structure of temperament and to assess the learning and behavioral plasticity (i.e., slope of the regression) of individual cows. This study provides, for the first time, a longitudinal perspective of the genetic and genomic mechanisms underlying temperament, learning, and behavioral plasticity in beef cattle.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalGenetics Selection Evolution
Volume55
Early online date19 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 19 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Cattle/genetics
  • Temperament/physiology
  • Phenotype
  • Animals
  • Genomics
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • North America

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