JOURNAL ARTICLE

Genetic parameters for a multiple-trait multiple-lactation random regression test-day model in Italian Holsteins

B L Muir, G Kistemaker, J Jamrozik, F Canavesi
Journal of Dairy Science 2007, 90 (3): 1564-74
17297130
The objectives of this study were to estimate variance components for test-day milk, fat, and protein yields and average daily SCS in 3 subsets of Italian Holsteins using a multiple-trait, multiple-lactation random regression test-day animal model and to determine whether a genetic heterogeneous variance adjustment was necessary. Data were test-day yields of milk, fat, and protein and SCS (on a log2 scale) from the first 3 lactations of Italian Holsteins collected from 1992 to 2002. The 3 subsets of data included 1) a random sample of Holsteins from all herds in Italy, 2) a random sample of Holsteins from herds using a minimum of 75% foreign sires, and 3) a random sample of Holsteins from herds using a maximum of 25% foreign sires. Estimations of variances and covariances for this model were achieved by Bayesian methods using the Gibbs sampler. Estimated 305-d genetic, permanent environmental, and residual variance was higher in herds using a minimum of 75% foreign sires compared with herds using a maximum of 25% foreign sires. Estimated average daily heritability of milk, fat, and protein yields did not differ among subsets. Heritability of SCS in the first lactation differed slightly among subsets and was estimated to be the highest in herds with a maximum of 25% foreign sire use (0.19 +/- 0.01). Genetic correlations across lactations for milk, fat, and protein yields were similar among subsets. Genetic correlations across lactations for SCS were 0.03 to 0.08 higher in herds using a minimum of 75% or a maximum of 25% foreign sires, compared with herds randomly sampled from the entire population. Results indicate that adjustment for heterogeneous variance at the genetic level based on the percentage of foreign sire use should not be necessary with a multiple-trait random regression test-day animal model in Italy.

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