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Genetic variability of maternal effect on body measurements and its intra‐ and inter‐genetic relationship with direct effect in Japanese Black calves

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This study was conducted to evaluate the importance of maternal effect on body measurement traits at an early stage of growth, and to estimate the genetic relationships between direct and maternal effects and among body measurement traits at 0 month (0‐mo) and 4 months (4‐mo) of age in a population of Japanese Black calves. Body measurements and body weight of 889 Japanese Black calves were estimated with the use of an animal model by the Residual Maximum Likelihood procedure. Direct heritabilities were low to moderate, ranging between 0.17 ± 0.09 and 0.48 ± 0.13 at 0‐mo, and slightly lower, ranging between 0.15 ± 0.07 and 0.33 ± 0.13 at 4‐mo. Estimated maternal heritabilities were low to moderate, ranging between 0.08 ± 0.07 and 0.33 ± 0.07 at 0‐mo and 0.13 ± 0.06 to 0.33 ± 0.06 at 4‐mo. The direct genetic correlations between 0‐mo and 4‐mo were moderate to highly positive, ranging from 0.53 ± 0.23 to 0.96 ± 0.09. The estimated direct genetic correlation of chest width with other width traits was low and positive at both ages, whereas with hip width it was high and positive (0.80 ± 0.09) at 0‐mo, suggesting that simultaneous improvement of body width of the front and back parts is possible. Maternal genetic effects were relatively independent of direct genetic effects for body measurement traits and can be considered in genetic evaluation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, Okayama 2: Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan 3: Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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