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Estimation of direct and maternal genetic parameters for weaning weight in Hungarian Simmental cattle
Published December 8, 2021

The aim of the current research was to estimate variance components and genetic parameters of weaning weight in Hungarian Simmental cattle. Weaning weight records were obtained from the Association of Hungarian Simmental Breeders. The dataset comprised of 44,278 animals born from 1975 to 2020. The data was analyzed using the restricted maxi...mum likelihood methodology of the Wombat software. We fitted a total of six models to the weaning weight data of Hungarian Simmental cattle. Models ranged from a simple model with animals as the only random effect to a model that had maternal environmental effects as additional random effects as well as direct maternal genetic covariance. Fixed effects in the model comprised of herd, birth year, calving order and sex. Likelihood ratio test was used to determine the best fit model for the data. Results indicated that allowing for direct-maternal genetic covariance increases the direct and maternal effect dramatically. The best fit model had direct and maternal genetic effects as the only random effect with non-zero direct-maternal genetic correlation. Direct heritability, maternal heritability and direct maternal correlation of the best fit model was 0.57, 0.16 and -0.78 respectively. The result indicates that problem of (co-)sampling variation occurs when attempting to partition additive genetic variance into direct and maternal components.

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