Analysis of non-genetic and genetic influences underlying the growth of Kajli lambs

Author: A. Ali, K. Javed, I. Zahoor & K.M. Anjum
Year: 2020
Issue: 4
Volume: 50
Page: 613 - 625

Data on 2931 Kajli lambs, born from 2007 to 2018, were used to quantify environmental and genetic effects on growth performance of Kajli sheep. Traits considered for evaluation were birth weight (BWT), 120-day adjusted weight (120DWT), 180-day adjusted weight (180DWT), 270-day adjusted weight (270DWT), and 365-day adjusted weight (365DWT). Fixed effects of year of birth, season of birth, sex, birth type, and dam age on these traits were evaluated using linear procedures of SAS, 9.1. Similarly, BWT, 120DWT, 180DWT, and 270DWT were used as fixed effects mixed model analyses. Variance components, heritability and breeding values were estimated by restricted maximum likelihood. The genetic trend for each trait was obtained by regression of the estimated breeding values (EBV) on year of birth. Analyses revealed substantial influence of birth year on all traits. Sex and birth type were the significant sources of variation for BWT and 120DWT. Season of birth did not influence birth weight meaningfully, but had a significant role in the expression of 120DWT, 180DWT, and 270DWT. Heritability estimates were generally low (0.003 ± 0.018 to 0.099 ± 0.067) for all traits. With the exception of the genetic correlation of 180DWT and 365DWT, the genetic correlations between trait were strong and positive. Only 365DWT had a positive genetic trend. Although the heritability estimates for almost all weight traits were low, high and positive genetic correlations between BWT and other weight traits suggest that selection based on BWT would result in the improvement of other weight traits as a correlated response.

Keywords: Bodyweight, breeding value, genetic correlation, sheep
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