Research Article

Influence of animals obtained using embryo transfer on the genetic evaluation of growth in Simmental beef cattle with random regression models

Abstract

Weight records of Simmental beef cattle were used in a genetic evaluation of growth with and without embryo transfer (ET). A random regression model in which ET individuals were excluded (RRM1) contained 29,510 records from 10,659 animals, while another model that did not exclude these animals (RRM2) contained 62,895 records from 23,160 animals. The fixed and random regressions were represented by continuous functions, and a model with an order of three for the fixed curve and random effects was used to consider the homogeneity of residual variance. In general, the (co)variance components were similar in both models, except the maternal permanent environment and residual components. The direct heritability in RRM1 and RRM2 showed the same behavior with oscillations along the growth curve and were slightly higher in RRM1. Generally, the estimated correlations were the same and smaller as the ages distanced themselves. The inclusion of animals from ET in genetic evaluations can be done using random regression models; the inclusion of these animals would provide potential accuracy gains and greater genetic gains per unit time because of the reduction in the generation interval from the use of this reproductive technique.

Weight records of Simmental beef cattle were used in a genetic evaluation of growth with and without embryo transfer (ET). A random regression model in which ET individuals were excluded (RRM1) contained 29,510 records from 10,659 animals, while another model that did not exclude these animals (RRM2) contained 62,895 records from 23,160 animals. The fixed and random regressions were represented by continuous functions, and a model with an order of three for the fixed curve and random effects was used to consider the homogeneity of residual variance. In general, the (co)variance components were similar in both models, except the maternal permanent environment and residual components. The direct heritability in RRM1 and RRM2 showed the same behavior with oscillations along the growth curve and were slightly higher in RRM1. Generally, the estimated correlations were the same and smaller as the ages distanced themselves. The inclusion of animals from ET in genetic evaluations can be done using random regression models; the inclusion of these animals would provide potential accuracy gains and greater genetic gains per unit time because of the reduction in the generation interval from the use of this reproductive technique.