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Title: Genetic and phenotypic parameters for reproduction, production and bodyweight traits in Australian fine-wool Merino sheep
Contributor(s): Dominik, S  (author)orcid ; Swan A A  (author)
Publication Date: 2018
Early Online Version: 2016-09-23
DOI: 10.1071/AN15738
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Abstract: The present study estimated phenotypic and genetic relationships between wool production, reproduction and bodyweight traits in Australian fine-wool Merino sheep. The data for the study originated from the CSIRO Fine Wool Project, Armidale, Australia. Data on wool characteristics, measured at ~10 and 22 months of age, bodyweight and several reproduction traits across consecutive lambing opportunities were analysed. The genetic correlations were moderately negative between fibre diameter measured as yearling and adult, and lamb survival (rg = -0.34 ± 0.15 and rg = -0.28 ± 0.14 respectively) and total number of lambs weaned (rg = -0.32 ± 0.21 and rg = -0.40 ± 0.21 respectively). The genetic correlations of yearling and adult greasy and clean fleece weights with number of lambs weaned and fecundity showed moderately to highly negative relationships and a moderately negative correlation with the number of fetuses at pregnancy scanning. Phenotypic correlations between reproduction and wool production traits were estimated to be zero, with the exception of bodyweight showing low to moderate positive phenotypic correlations with total number of lambs born and weaned. Genetic variances were generally low for the reproduction traits and resulted in low heritability estimates (from h2 = 0.03 ± 0.01 to h2 = 0.12 ± 0.13), with the exception of total number of lambs born (h2 = 0.25 ± 0.03). The study indicated that parameter estimation and trait definition of lifetime reproduction records require careful consideration and more work in this area is required.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, 58(2), p. 207-212
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-0939
Field of Research (FOR): 070201 Animal Breeding
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 830311 Sheep - Wool
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)
Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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