Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 40, Number 5, September-October 2008
Page(s) 511 - 527
Published online 12 August 2008
Genet. Sel. Evol. 40 (2008) 511-527
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2008018

Inbreeding depression on beef cattle traits: Estimates, linearity of effects and heterogeneity among sire-families

Nuno Carolino1 and Luis T. Gama1, 2

1  Estacção Zootécnica Nacional - INRB, 2005-048 Vale de Santare'm, Portugal
2  Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária - Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal

Received 10 December 2007; accepted 25 March 2008; published online 12 August 2008

Abstract - Records from up to 19 054 registered cows and 10 297 calves in 155 herds of the Alentejana cattle breed were used to study the effects of individual (F$_{\rm i}$) and maternal (F$_{\rm m}$) inbreeding on reproductive, growth and carcass traits, as well as assessing the importance of non-linear associations between inbreeding and performance, and evaluating the differences among sire-families in the effect of F$_{\rm i}$ and F$_{\rm m}$ on calf weight at 7 months of age (W7M). Overall, regression coefficients of performance traits on inbreeding were small, indicating a minor but still detrimental effect of both F$_{\rm i}$ and F$_{\rm m}$ on most traits. The traits with the highest percentage impact of F$_{\rm i}$ were total number of calvings through life and calf weight at 3 months of age (W3M), followed by longevity and number of calves produced up to 7 years, while the highest effect of F$_{\rm m}$ was on W3M. Inbreeding depression on feed efficiency and carcass traits was extremely small and not significant. No evidence was found of a non-linear association between inbreeding and performance for the traits analyzed. Large differences were detected among sire-families in inbreeding depression on W7M, for both F$_{\rm i}$ and F$_{\rm m}$, encouraging the possibility of incorporating sire effects on inbreeding depression into selection decisions.

Key words: Alentejana / cattle / inbreeding depression / individual inbreeding / maternal inbreeding

Corresponding author:

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2008

Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.

Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.

Initial download of the metrics may take a while.