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Title: Genetic parameters for faecal worm egg count at different ages in Australian sheep under natural challenge
Contributor(s): Li, L  (author); Brown, D J  (author); Swan, A A  (author); van der Werf, J H J  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2019
Early Online Version: 2018-09-12
DOI: 10.1071/AN17833
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Abstract: The data used in the present study consisted of 24 535 worm egg count records on sheep observed from 63 to 560 days of age under conditions of the natural challenge of trichostrongylid species. Records were extracted from the Information Nucleus Flock database of the Australia Sheep Cooperative Research Centre program from 2007 to 2011. Records were observed at various ages and subdivided into weaning (W, ~3 months), post-weaning (P, ~4 months), yearling (Y, ~12 months) and hogget (H, ~18 months) age stages and were used to investigate genetic variation at different age stages in univariate analyses and estimate genetic correlations between age stages in multi-trait analyses. The full data were also analysed by random regression models to study how heritability and genetic correlations varied with age. Heritability estimates from univariate analyses were 0.20 ± 0.05, 0.15 ± 0.02, 0.36 ± 0.09, 0.22 ± 0.06 for W, P, Y and H age stages respectively. A similar trend of heritability over ages was found from random regression analyses, which decreased from 0.16 at 90 days to 0.09 at 120 days, following a steady increase to 0.32 at ~410 days, and then decreased afterwards to 0.24 at 520 days. Strong genetic correlations (>0.8) were found between W and P age stages, along with Y and H age stages. Sire by flock interaction effects were significant, and accounted for the reduced estimates of heritability and increased genetic correlations between age stages. The results indicated that a multiple-trait approach is required for genetic evaluation of worm egg count when measurements are at different ages, and the accuracy of evaluations would benefit from recording at least two separate age stages.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, 59(7), p. 1201-1208
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-0939
Field of Research (FOR): 070201 Animal Breeding
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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