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Title: Genetic correlations between ewe reproduction and carcass and meat quality traits in Merino sheep
Contributor(s): Safari, E (author); Fogarty, N M (author); Hopkins, D L (author); Greeff, J C (author); Brien, F D (author); Atkins, K D (author); Mortimer, S I (author); Taylor, P J (author); Van Der Werf, Julius Herman  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0388.2008.00745.x
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Abstract: Genetic correlations between reproduction traits in ewes and carcass and meat quality traits in Merino rams were obtained using restricted maximum likelihood procedures. The carcass data were from 5870 Merino rams slaughtered at approximately 18 months of age that were the progeny of 543 sires from three research resource flocks over 7 years. The carcass traits included ultrasound scan fat and eye muscle depth (EMDUS) measured on live animals, dressing percentage and carcass tissue depth (at the GR site FATGR and C site FATC), eye muscle depth, width and area and the meat quality indicator traits of muscle final pH and colour (L*, a*, b*). The reproduction data consisted of 13 464 ewe joining records for number of lambs born and weaned and 9015 records for LS. The genetic correlations between reproduction and fat measurements were negative (range −0.06 ± 0.12 to −0.37 ± 0.12), with smaller correlations for live measurement than carcass traits. There were small favourable genetic correlations between reproduction traits and muscle depth in live rams (EMDUS, 0.10 ± 0.12 to 0.20 ± 0.12), although those with carcass muscle traits were close to zero. The reproduction traits were independent of meat colour L* (relative brightness), but tended to be favourably correlated with meat colour a* (relative redness, 0.12 ± 0.17 to 0.19 ± 0.16). There was a tendency for meat final pH to have small negative favourable genetic correlations with reproduction traits (0.05 ± 0.11 to −0.17 ± 0.12). This study indicates that there is no antagonism between reproduction traits and carcass and meat quality indicator traits, with scope for joint improvement of reproduction, carcass and meat quality traits in Merino sheep.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 125(6), p. 397-402
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Place of Publication: Berlin, Germany
ISSN: 0931-2668
Field of Research (FOR): 060412 Quantitative Genetics (incl Disease and Trait Mapping Genetics)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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School of Environmental and Rural Science

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