Genetic parameters and trends in the Chilean multibreed dairy cattle population

M A Elzo, A Jara, N Barria
Journal of Dairy Science 2004, 87 (5): 1506-18
Estimates of additive and nonadditive multibreed co-variance components, genetic parameters, and predicted genetic values for first lactation 305-d mature equivalent (ME) milk yield, fat yield, and protein yield were computed using data from a sample of 3316 cows from the Chilean Holstein-other breeds multibreed population. Variances and covariances were estimated by 2-trait REML analyses using a Generalized Expectation-Maximization algorithm applied to multibreed populations. Multiple estimates of additive genetic, nonadditive genetic, and environmental variances from 2-trait analyses were averaged to yield a single variance estimate for each trait and effect. Heritabilities were moderate for all traits in Holstein, other, and Holstein x other crossbred groups. Interbreed interactibilities (ratio of nonadditive genetic to phenotypic variances) were all near zero. Multibreed additive, nonadditive, and total genetic trends were estimated using the complete dataset (56,277 cows). Upward trends between 1990 and 2000 existed for all traits, genetic effects, and breed groups, except for 305-d ME protein yield in 1/4 Holstein, indicating that Chilean dairy producers were successful in choosing progressively better semen and sires from imported and local sources over time.

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