- Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
The aim of the present investigation was to study the genetic relationships between pelt quality traits (shade of fleece, size of curl, score for fleece colour, score for curl, score for quality of hair, score for thickness of fleece, sum of pelt scores, and overall score) on one hand and maternal ability, live weight, and carcass traits on the other hand for the Gotland sheep breed. Data were received from the Swedish Sheep Recording Scheme and included observations on 4-month weight (4MW) and pelt quality for 51,402 lambs and on weight (CW), fatness (FAT), and fleshiness (FLESH) of the carcass for 12,440 lambs. The lambs were born during the period 1991-2003. When maternal genetic and permanent environmental effects were included in the model direct heritabilities for the pelt quality traits varied between 0.16 and 0.25. Maternal heritabilities (0.01 to 0.05) and common environmental variances as a fraction of the total phenotypic variances (0.07 to 0.10) were low. Maternal heritabilities were higher for 4MW (0.11) and CW (0.12) than for the pelt quality traits. Direct-maternal genetic correlations were both for the pelt quality traits and for 4MW and CW generally negative and low to medium high. Direct genetic correlations between pelt quality traits on one hand and 4MW, CW, FAT or FLESH on the other hand were low (-0.16 to 0.12). Maternal genetic correlations between pelt quality traits and 4MW or CW were positive and high (0.38 to 0.96). It was concluded that breeding for increased growth and improved carcass quality would not influence pelt quality negatively or vice versa. If maternal genetic effects are considered for 4MW and CW in the breeding program for the Gotland sheep breed, selection for maternal effects on 4MW and CW will have positive effects both on lamb weight and pelt quality. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
sheep; heritabilities; genetic correlations; hair quality; live weight; carcass traits
2008, Volume: 117, number: 1, pages: 93-100
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Animal and Dairy Science