Genetic analysis of body weight in a Nellore cattle herd

Tiago Luciano Passafaro Breno de Oliveira Fragomeni Daniel Resende Gonçalves Mariana Mamedes de Moraes Fabio Luiz Buranelo Toral About the authors


The objective of this work was to determine the genetic parameters for body weight of Nellore cattle, from birth to 1,000 days of age, by random regression models. Data from 115,096 body weight records of 19,417 animals were used. The genetic parameters were obtained by random regression models and Bayesian inference. The average growth trajectory was fitted by a fourth-order Legendre polynomial. The additive direct effect was fitted by a quadratic Legendre polynomial. Direct and maternal permanent environmental effects were fitted by the fifth- and second-order Legendre polynomials, respectively. Residual variance was modeled by three classes of age. The breeding values of weights obtained from birth to 1,000 days of age were used for the analysis of genetic trend by response surfaces. Heritability ranged from 0.16 to 0.47. The direct and maternal permanent environmental effects explained 5 to 77% and 0.2 to 11% of the phenotypic variance, respectively. The genetic correlations of body weights at different ages were high and above 0.40. Breeding values increased throughout the years, and genetic trend was maximum for body weight at 500 days.

Index terms:
Bos indicus; Bayesian inference; genetic parameter; selection; response surface.

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