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Chen C.Y.,Newsham Choice Genetics | Chen C.Y.,University of Georgia | Misztal I.,University of Georgia | Aguilar I.,University of Georgia | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2011

Data of broiler chickens for 2 pure lines across 3 generations were used for genomic evaluation. A complete population (full data set; FDS) consisted of 183,784 and 164,246 broilers for the 2 lines. The genotyped subsets (SUB) consisted of 3,284 and 3,098 broilers with 57,636 SNP. Genotyped animals were preselected based on more than 20 traits with different index applied to each line. Three traits were analyzed: BW at 6 wk (BW6), ultrasound measurement of breast meat (BM), and leg score (LS) coded 1 = no and 2 = yes for leg defect. Some phenotypes were missing for BM. The training population consisted of the first 2 generations including all animals in FDS or only genotyped animals in SUB. The validation data set contained only genotyped animals in the third generation. Genetic evaluations were performed using 3 approaches: 1) phenotypic BLUP, 2) extending BLUP methodologies to utilize pedigree and genomic information in a single step (ssGBLUP), and 3) Bayes A. Whereas BLUP and ssGBLUP utilized all phenotypic data, Bayes A could use only those of the genotyped subset. Heritabilities were 0.17 to 0.20 for BW6, 0.30 to 0.35 for BM, and 0.09 to 0.11 for LS. The average accuracies of the validation population with BLUP for BW6, BM, and LS were 0.46, 0.30, and <0 with SUB and 0.51, 0.34, and 0.28 with FDS. With ssGBLUP, those accuracies were 0.60, 0.34, and 0.06 with SUB and 0.61, 0.40, and 0.37 with FDS, respectively. With Bayes A, the accuracies were 0.60, 0.36, and 0.09 with SUB. With SUB, Bayes A and ssGBLUP had similar accuracies. For traits of high heritability, the accuracy of Bayes A/SUB and ssGBLUP/FDS were similar, and up to 50% better than BLUP/FDS. However, with low heritability, ssGBLUP/ FDS was 4 to 6 times more accurate than Bayes A/SUB and 50% better than BLUP/FDS. An optimal genomic evaluation would be multi-trait and involve all traits and records on which selection is based. ©2011 American Society of Animal Science. Source


Nikkila M.T.,Iowa State University | Stalder K.J.,Iowa State University | Mote B.E.,Iowa State University | Rothschild M.F.,Iowa State University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to estimate genetic associations for gilt growth, compositional, and structural soundness with sow longevity and lifetime reproduction. Performance and pedigree information from 1,447 commercial females from 2 genetic lines were included in the data analyzed. Growth was expressed as days to 113.5 kg BW (DAYS) and compositional traits included loin muscle area (LMA), 10th rib back fat (BF10), and last rib back fat (LRF). Structural soundness traits included body structure traits [length (BL), depth (BD), width (BWD), rib shape (BRS), top line (BTL), and hip structure (BHS)], leg structure traits [front legs: legs turned (FLT), buck knees (FBK), pastern posture (FPP), foot size (FFS), and uneven toes (FUT); rear legs: legs turned (RLT), leg posture (RLP), pastern posture (RPP), foot size (RFS), and uneven toes (RUT)], and overall leg action (OLA). Lifetime (LT) and removal parity (RP) were considered as longevity traits whereas lifetime reproductive traits included lifetime total number born (LNB), lifetime number born alive (LBA), number born alive per lifetime day (LBA/ LT), and percentage productive days from total herd days (PD%). Genetic parameters were estimated with linear animal models using the average information REML algorithm. Second, to account for censored longevity and lifetime reproduction records, genetic parameters were estimated using Markov Chain Monte Carlo and Gibbs sampling methods. Similar estimates were obtained across the analysis methods. Heritability estimates for growth and compositional traits ranged from 0.50 to 0.70 and for structural soundness traits from 0.07 to 0.31. Longevity and lifetime reproductive trait heritability estimates ranged from 0.14 to 0.17 when REML was used. Unfavorable genetic correlations were obtained for DAYS with LT, RP, LNB, LBA, and PD% and for LRF with PD%. However, LMA was favorably associated with LT, RP, and LNB. Moderate to high correlations were obtained for BL and BRS with all longevity and lifetime reproductive traits. Correlations of BWD with LT and RP were moderate. Associations for leg soundness traits with longevity and lifetime reproductive traits were mainly low and nonsignificant (P ≥ 0.10). However, RLP was moderately correlated with LBA/LT and PD%. Current results indicate that selection for fewer DAYS has an antagonistic effect on lifetime performance. Furthermore, great BL, fl at BRS, narrow BWD, and upright RLP seem detrimental to sow longevity and lifetime reproduction. © 2013 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved. Source


MacNeil M.D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Vukasinovic N.,Newsham Choice Genetics | Vukasinovic N.,Pfizer
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2011

The objective of this research was to develop a prototype system for national cattle evaluation that would facilitate selection for improved fertility of daughters from Hereford sires. Raw data for this analysis were the birth dates of calves as reported by breeders to the American Hereford Association. Records from females entered this analysis with the reporting of a birth date for their first calf. At that time, females were required to be in contemporary groups of at least 3 animals and to have at least 2 additional paternal half-sibs also represented in the data. To explicitly define "sustained reproductive success," the philosophy taken was that a female that maintained a calving interval of 425 d or less would be considered successful. Females failing to meet this criterion were considered to be at the end of their successful lifetime. Data were analyzed using methodology for survival analysis with grouped data. Fixed contemporary groups were modeled as being time dependent, reflecting the females exposed for breeding in the same herd-year-season. Sire effects were time independent and considered random. Also included in the analysis were time-independent covariates for maternal weaning weight and total maternal calving ease from the national cattle evaluation of the American Hereford Association. Records from females still successfully in production at the time of this analysis, those that were transferred, those with calving intervals less than 280 d, and those that were successful until becoming donor dams for embryo transfer were considered censored. A total of 36,866 females contributed to this analysis, with 14,143 of these having censored records. The median number of females in a contemporary group was 6. A total of 3,323 sires had daughters with records. The median number of daughters per sire was 7. Heritability of sustained reproductive success on the underlying scale estimated from these data was approximately 0.05. Additional data accumulated over time will improve this genetic evaluation. Sustained reproductive success is important to the commercial beef industry, and results from this evaluation are expected to enhance the assessment of economic value of Hereford seedstock. © 2011 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved. Source


Knauer M.T.,North Carolina State University | Cassady J.P.,North Carolina State University | Newcom D.W.,Newsham Choice Genetics | See M.T.,North Carolina State University
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2010

Variance components and genetic correlations were estimated among estrus, puberty, growth, and composition traits in Landrace-Large White gilts (n = 1,225; Genetic Improvement Services, Newton Grove, NC) from 59 sires and 330 dams. Four groups of gilts entered the North Carolina Swine Evaluation Station in Clayton at an average age of 162 d and were checked daily for estrus. Once 70% of gilts had reached puberty, recording of estrus symptoms occurred every 12 h for 30 d, using fence-line boar contact. Subjective estrus traits were maximum strength of standing reflex with or without a boar present, total strength of standing reflex with or without a boar present, and strength of vulva reddening and swelling. Objective estrus traits consisted of vulva redness, vulva width, length of estrus in consecutive days based on 12-h observations, and age at puberty (AGEPUB). Growth and composition traits included puberty weight, days to 114 kg (DYS), 10th-rib backfat, and 10th-rib LM area at 114 kg (BF, LMA) and puberty. Variance components were estimated using AIREMLF90 with an animal model. All models included gilt development diet class and breed composition as fixed effects, entry age as a covariate (except DYS, BF, and LMA), a random common litter effect, and a random animal genetic effect. Heritability estimates for length of estrus, maximum strength of the standing reflex with a boar, total strength of the standing reflex with a boar, maximum strength of the standing reflex without a boar, total strength of the standing reflex without a boar, vulva redness, strength of vulva reddening and swelling, and vulva width were 0.21, 0.13, 0.26, 0.42, 0.42, 0.26, 0.45, and 0.58, respectively. Heritability estimates for AGEPUB, puberty weight, 10th-rib backfat at puberty, 10th-rib LM area at puberty, DYS, BF, and LMA were 0.29, 0.39, 0.41, 0.38, 0.24, 0.47, and 0.39, respectfully. Common litter effect estimates ranged from 0.01 to 0.09. The estimated genetic correlation between length of estrus and maximum strength of standing reflex with a boar was 0.99. Genetic correlations between AGEPUB and length of estrus, maximum strength of standing reflex with a boar, and vulva redness were -0.23, -0.32, and 0.20, respectively. Length of estrus had positive genetic associations with DYS and BF (0.30 and 0.29, respectively). It was concluded that past selection for lean BW gain may have weakened the strength of the standing reflex and that sufficient genetic variation exists to make selection for improved swine estrus traits effective. © 2010 American Society of Animal Science. Source


Nikkila M.T.,Iowa State University | Stalder K.J.,Iowa State University | Mote B.E.,Iowa State University | Rothschild M.F.,Iowa State University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for growth, body composition, and structural soundness traits in commercial gilt lines. The data included 1,449 gilts: 462 females from a grandparent maternal line and 987 from a parent maternal line. Growth was expressed as number of days to a constant 113.5 kg BW (DAYS) and compositional traits included loin muscle area (LMA), 10th rib backfat (BF10), and last rib backfat (LRF). Subjective structural soundness evaluation was completed using a 9-point scale and included: body length (BL), body depth (BD), body width (BWD), rib shape (BRS), top line (BTL), and hip structure (BHS); front legs: legs turned (FLT), buck knees (FBK), pastern posture (FPP), foot size (FFS), and uneven toes (FUT); rear legs: legs turned (RLT), leg posture (RLP), pastern posture (RPP), foot size (RFS), and uneven toes (RUT); and overall leg action (OLA). Genetic parameters were estimated with multivariate linear animal models, using the average information REML algorithm. Heritability estimates for growth and body composition traits ranged from 0.50 to 0.70, for body structure traits from 0.15 to 0.31, for leg structure traits from 0.07 to 0.31, and the estimate for OLA was 0.12. Several moderate to high genetic correlations were obtained among body structure traits, whereas correlations among leg structure traits were mainly low and nonsignificant. A strong correlation was found between FPP and OLA (P < 0.001); more upright FPP coincided with inferior OLA. Furthermore, FBK and FFS appeared to be favorably associated with OLA (0.05 < P < 0.10). Body structure trait correlations among each other and with leg soundness traits were primarily favorable. Correlations indicated that great BL and high BTL coincided with each other and deterioration of other structural soundness traits. Although genetic correlations obtained for DAYS and backfat measurements with structural soundness traits had an unfavorable trend, they were mainly low to moderate (i.e., simultaneous genetic improvement would be possible, including adversely associated traits). Due to greater heritabilities, faster genetic change could be expected for compositional and body structure traits than leg structure traits. Because of the genetic relationship among the trait groups, using information across traits when making selection decisions could result in genetic improvement among leg soundness traits. © 2013 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved. Source

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