Genetics of adaptive traits in heifers and their relationship to growth, pubertal and carcass traits in two tropical beef cattle genotypes

Prayaga, K. C., Corbet, N. J., Johnston, D. J., Wolcott, M. L., Fordyce, G. and Burrow, H. M. (2009) Genetics of adaptive traits in heifers and their relationship to growth, pubertal and carcass traits in two tropical beef cattle genotypes. Animal Production Science, 49 5-6: 413-425. doi:10.1071/EA08247

Author Prayaga, K. C.
Corbet, N. J.
Johnston, D. J.
Wolcott, M. L.
Fordyce, G.
Burrow, H. M.
Title Genetics of adaptive traits in heifers and their relationship to growth, pubertal and carcass traits in two tropical beef cattle genotypes
Journal name Animal Production Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1836-0939
Publication date 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/EA08247
Volume 49
Issue 5-6
Start page 413
End page 425
Total pages 13
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Genetic analyses of tropical adaptive traits were conducted for two tropically adapted genotypes, Brahman (BRAH) and Tropical Composite (TCOMP). Traits included tick scores (TICK), faecal egg counts (EPG), buffalo fly-lesion scores (FLY), rectal temperatures under hot conditions (TEMP), coat scores (COAT), coat colour on a light to dark scale (COLOUR), navel scores (NAVEL) and temperament measured as flight time (FT). The data comprised adaptive measures recorded at specific times on 2071 heifers comprising 966 BRAH and 1105 TCOMP. The genetic correlations of these adaptive traits with heifer growth, scanned carcass, pubertal measures and steer growth and carcass traits were estimated. BRAH recorded significantly (P < 0.05) lower TICK, EPG, FLY and TEMPthan did TCOMP.BRAH also had significantly sleeker coats, lighter coat colour, more pendulous navels and more docile temperament than did TCOMP. The heritability of TICK and FLY was low (<20%), that of EPG, TEMP, NAVEL and FT was moderate (20–50%) and that of COAT and COLOUR high (>50%). In general, phenotypic correlations between these adaptive traits were low and genetic correlations were non-significant, implying trait independence. Genetic correlations between EPG and weight traits (0.29 to 0.44) indicated a positive relationship, implying no deleterious effect of worms on the growth at a genetic level, especially in TCOMP. The negative genetic correlations between COAT and body-condition score across genotypes (–0.33 to –0.48) indicated genetic advantage of sleek coats in tropics. A positive genetic correlation between COAT and the age at the first observed corpus luteum (0.73) in BRAH indicated that BRAH with sleeker coats were genetically early maturing. Further, sleeker coats were genetically indicative of lower weights and lower fat cover at puberty in BRAH. The scanned fat measures at rumpand rib sites for feedlot steers showed strong genetic correlation (0.50–0.58) with heiferTEMP,indicating genetically fatter animals had genetically lower heat tolerance. In BRAH, a positive genetic association between heifer COLOUR and scanned fat measures in steers (0.50–0.54) implied increased fatness in genetically darker animals. Further, in BRAH, a strong negative genetic correlation (–0.97) was observed between steer retail beef yield and heifer TEMP, indicating a favourable genetic association. In general, genetic correlations between adaptive traits and other economic traits were genotype specific. Further, it can be concluded that selection for productive and pubertal traits in tropical beef cattle genotypes would not adversely affect their tropical adaptability.
Keyword Coat score
Genetic correlation
Heat resistance
Parasite resistance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 36 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 32 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 07 Mar 2011, 15:05:25 EST