2010-Brandt_et_al - Estimation of genetic and crossbreeding...

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H. Brandt, A. Müllenhoff, C. Lambertz, G. Erhardt and M. Gauly Angus and Simmental beef cattle and the reciprocal crosses Estimation of genetic and crossbreeding parameters for preweaning traits in German doi: 10.2527/jas.2008-1742 originally published online Sep 11, 2009; 2010.88:80-86. J Anim Sci http://jas.fass.org/cgi/content/full/88/1/80 the World Wide Web at: The online version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located on www.asas.org by on April 11, 2011. jas.fass.org Downloaded from
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ABSTRACT: Data from pure breeds, as well as re- ciprocal crosses of German Angus (GA) and Simmental (SIM) beef cattle, were used to estimate genetic param- eters and to evaluate the suitability for crossbreeding in terms of increasing productivity. Traits of interest were calving difficulty, birth weight (BWT), weaning weight (WWT), and ADG from birth to weaning. Data were collected over a period of 7 yr from 1997 and 1998 until 2003 and 2004, whereas crossbreeding was carried out in 2002 and 2003, and 2003 and 2004 only. Variance components and differences between breeds, individual heterosis, and maternal breed effects were analyzed based on 1,441 purebred and 329 crossbred records for BWT and 1,319 purebred and 316 crossbred records for WWT and ADG, respectively. Mean calv- ing difficulty scores were greater in SIM than in GA ( P < 0.001). For BWT, WWT, and ADG both reciprocal crosses fell between the purebreds, and for all 3 traits SIM showed greater average values compared with GA. The estimated heritabilities were 0.23 for BWT and 0.12 for WWT. Values for the maternal effect and the correlation between additive and maternal effect were 0.18 for BWT, 0.08 for WWT, 0.32 for BWT, and 0.50 for WWT, respectively. Individual heterosis was only significant for BWT (3.7%; P < 0.01). Superior moth- ering ability of SIM was implicated by greater WWT and ADG of SIM as dam against the reciprocal cross ( P < 0.001). The results provide information about the ex- tent of individual heterosis and maternal breed effects. Key words: beef cattle, crossbreeding, genetic parameter, German Angus, preweaning period, Simmental ©2010 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved. J. Anim. Sci. 2010. 88:80–86 doi:10.2527/jas.2008-1742 INTRODUCTION Crossbreeding is widely used to improve productivity of beef cattle. Desirable effects of crossbreeding are het- erosis and the utilization of differences between breeds to optimize genetic merit of performance traits under various environmental conditions (Gregory and Cun- diff, 1980; Koch et al., 1985). Knowledge of genetic pa- rameters and differences between breeds are necessary to evaluate the suitability of breeds for crossbreeding and to assess which of the breeds should be used as sire and dam, respectively. Through organized crossbreeding programs it is possible to combine positive traits of different breeds to fulfill market requirements (Gregory and Cundiff, 1980). Some sire breeds are superior in growth and carcass traits and some dam breeds excel in efficiency of reproduction and calf rearing when used for cross- breeding (Alenda et al., 1980b; Koch et al., 1985; Kress and Nelsen, 1988; Abdel-Aziz et al., 2003). Addition-
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2010-Brandt_et_al - Estimation of genetic and crossbreeding...

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