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Title: Differences in fibre diameter profile characteristics in wool staples from Merino sheep and their relationship with staple strength between years, environments, and bloodlines
Contributor(s): Brown, D  (author); Crook, B (author); Purvis, Ian W (author)
Publication Date: 2002
DOI: 10.1071/AR00129
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Abstract: This study examined differences in fibre diameter profiles (FDPs) and midside characteristics of Merino sheep in 2 environments, 4 bloodlines, 3 years, and 44 sire groups. Environment significantly (P < 0.05) influenced all characteristics except one measure of fibre diameter change and staple length. Bloodline also significantly (P < 0.05) influenced all characteristics except staple strength. The maximum fibre diameter, one measure of fibre diameter change, and staple length were significantly different (P < 0.05) between sires. Variation in fibre diameter profile characteristics between bloodlines and sires changed across the environment in which the sheep are maintained. Despite these differences between bloodlines and sires in the FDP, midside mean fibre diameter, fibre diameter variation, and staple length, there were no significant differences between bloodlines in staple strength. The relationships between the FDP and midside characteristics with staple strength were also examined over these bloodlines and environments. Along-staple variation in fibre diameter (r = -0.32 to -0.50), between-fibre fibre diameter variation (r = -0.25 to -0.48), rate of fibre diameter change (r = -0.16 to -0.38), and midside variation in fibre diameter (r = -0.25 to -0.51) were all negatively correlated with staple strength. Maximum fibre diameter (r = 0.08 to 0.18), minimum fibre diameter (r = 0.25 to 0.49), and midside mean fibre diameter (r = 0.09 to 0.35) were positively associated with staple strength. FDP characteristics explained 5-30% more variation in staple strength than could be explained using the standard midside characteristics of mean fibre diameter, fibre diameter variation, and staple length alone. These relationships were also different between environments and bloodlines. The inclusion of the FDP characteristics as explanatory variables provided an alternative interpretation for how absolute fibre diameter and fibre diameter variation combine to explain staple strength. These results suggested that animals and sires might be able to be selected on FDP characteristics to improve staple strength. More detailed genetic studies are required before these selection strategies can be recommended.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 53(4), p. 481-491
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Collingwood, Victoria
ISSN: 0004-9409
Field of Research (FOR): 070201 Animal Breeding
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)
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