The influence of animals from embryo transfer on the genetic evaluation of growth in Simmental beef cattle by using multi-trait models


The weight records from Simmental beef cattle were used in a genetic evaluation of growth with or without the inclusion of animals obtained by embryo transfer. A multi-trait model in which embryo transfer individuals were excluded (MTM1) contained 29,510 records from 10,659 animals, while another model without exclusion of these animals (MTM2) contained 62,895 weight records from 23,160 animals. The weight records were adjusted for ages of 100, 205, 365, 450, 550 and 730 days. The (co)variance components and genetic parameters were estimated by the restricted maximum likelihood method. The (co)variance components were similar in both models, except for maternal permanent environment variance. Direct heritabilities (h2d) in MTM1 were 0.04, 0.11, 0.20, 0.27, 0.31 and 0.42, while in MTM2 they were 0.11, 0.11, 0.17, 0.21, 0.22 and 0.26 for 100, 205, 365, 450, 550 and 730 days of age, respectively. Estimates of h2d in MTM1 were higher than in MTM2 for the weight at 365 days of age. Genetic correlations between weights in both models ranged from moderate to high, suggesting that these traits may be determined mainly by the same genes. Animals from embryo transfer may be included in the genetic evaluation of Simmental beef cattle in Brazil; this inclusion may provide potential gains in accuracy and genetic gains by reducing the interval between generations.



Body weight, (Co)variance components, Heritability





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