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Genetic trends and trade-offs between growth and reproductive traits in a Nellore herd.


ABSTRACT: The knowledge of genetic trends and trade-offs between growth and reproductive traits might be useful to understand the evolution of these traits in livestock and natural populations of animals. We estimated the genetic trends and trade-offs between pre-weaning growth and calving intervals of Nellore animals from a commercial farm. Two-trait animal models were used to estimate covariance components and breeding values (EBV) for direct and maternal genetic effects of pre-weaning growth and direct genetic effects of calving intervals. Regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship between direct and maternal EBV of pre-weaning growth and direct EBV of calving intervals (dependent variables) and the coefficient of generation of each animal (independent variable). We also performed regression analyses to examine the relationship between direct EBV of calving intervals (dependent variables) and direct and maternal EBV of pre-weaning growth (independent variables). The genetic trends for direct and maternal genetic effect for pre-weaning growth were significant and presented genetic evolution in the studied Nellore herd. The genetic trends for the reproductive traits were also significant but indicated genetic changes in an unfavorable way. The genetic correlations between direct effects of pre-weaning growth and calving intervals traits and the genetic correlations between maternal effects of pre-weaning growth traits and direct effects of calving interval traits were not different from zero. The presence of trade-offs between the direct effects of growth and reproductive traits were confirmed through regression from direct EBV of calving intervals over EBV of pre-weaning growth traits. In addition, regression analyses showed that selection to increase pre-weaning growth also increased calving intervals. Our results showed that pre-weaning growth and calving intervals are increasing over generations and that trade-offs occurred between those traits in the studied Nellore herd.

SUBMITTER: Abreu LRA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6095503 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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