Research Article

Genetic correlations between visual slaughter conformation scores and growth and reproductive traits in Canchim cattle

Published: May 20, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7555 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15027555

Abstract

We obtained heritability and (co)variance component estimates for slaughter conformation scores at 420 days of age (SCS420), age at calving (first, AFC; second, ASC), calving occurrence until 38 months of age (CP38), weight at 420 days of age (W420), and scrotal circumference at 420 days (SC420) in Canchim (5/8 Charolais + 3/8 Zebu) cattle. A total of 23,168 records of Canchim animals, including 12,493 females and 10,675 males, were analyzed. SCS420 indicated carcass structure, muscle development, and subcutaneous fat deposition. The slaughter conformation score of each animal was relative to the whole contemporary group; 1 corresponded to the lowest expression of the trait and 6 to the highest. Heritabilities, and genetic and residual correlation estimates between SCS420 and reproductive and weight traits, were estimated by multitrait analyses using an animal model with Bayesian inference, employing a linear model for AFC, ASC, SC420, and W420 and a threshold model for CP38 and SCS420. Heritability estimates for SCS420, AFC, ASC, CP38, W420, and SC420 were 0.11, 0.15, 0.15, 0.15, 0.30, and 0.30, respectively. Genetic correlation estimates between SCS420 and the other traits were 0.08 (AFC), 0.58 (ASC), 0.08 (CP38), 0.43 (W420), and 0.17 (SC420). Visual slaughter conformation scores respond to individual selection and can be used as selection criteria in Canchim cattle. Selection to improve sexual precocity would not be effective in improving carcass conformation and composition, and selection for animals with high breeding values for yearling weight may improve slaughter conformation at the yearling stage.

We obtained heritability and (co)variance component estimates for slaughter conformation scores at 420 days of age (SCS420), age at calving (first, AFC; second, ASC), calving occurrence until 38 months of age (CP38), weight at 420 days of age (W420), and scrotal circumference at 420 days (SC420) in Canchim (5/8 Charolais + 3/8 Zebu) cattle. A total of 23,168 records of Canchim animals, including 12,493 females and 10,675 males, were analyzed. SCS420 indicated carcass structure, muscle development, and subcutaneous fat deposition. The slaughter conformation score of each animal was relative to the whole contemporary group; 1 corresponded to the lowest expression of the trait and 6 to the highest. Heritabilities, and genetic and residual correlation estimates between SCS420 and reproductive and weight traits, were estimated by multitrait analyses using an animal model with Bayesian inference, employing a linear model for AFC, ASC, SC420, and W420 and a threshold model for CP38 and SCS420. Heritability estimates for SCS420, AFC, ASC, CP38, W420, and SC420 were 0.11, 0.15, 0.15, 0.15, 0.30, and 0.30, respectively. Genetic correlation estimates between SCS420 and the other traits were 0.08 (AFC), 0.58 (ASC), 0.08 (CP38), 0.43 (W420), and 0.17 (SC420). Visual slaughter conformation scores respond to individual selection and can be used as selection criteria in Canchim cattle. Selection to improve sexual precocity would not be effective in improving carcass conformation and composition, and selection for animals with high breeding values for yearling weight may improve slaughter conformation at the yearling stage.