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Impact of nonadditive genetic effects in prediction of breeding values for dairy fertility traits

  • E. Wall (a1), S. Brotherstone (a1), J. A. Woolliams (a2), J. F. Kearney (a1) and M. P. Coffey (a1)...


Inbreeding depression leads to the reduction of the mean phenotypic value. There has been a steady increase in inbreeding (F) in the UK since the introduction of reproductive techniques (AI, MOET). There has been an increase in the percent Holstein (%H) in the UK population due to the influx of North American Holstein genes. Crossing these Holsteins to British Friesians can result in the favourable effect of heterosis (het), whereby crossbred progeny out-perform the mid-parent mean for that trait. Of the heterosis in the F1 population, a proportion is lost due to recombination (rec) between parental line genes and is a measure of the epistatic interaction of genes. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of nonadditive genetic effects (F, het, rec, %H) on the estimation of dairy cow fertility breeding values in the UK.


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Groeneveld, E., Kovac, M. and Wang, T., 1990. PEST, a general purpose BLUP package for multivariate prediction and estimation. Proc. 4th World Congr. Genet. Appl. Livest. Prod. Edinburgh, Scotland XIII: 488491.
Kearney, J. F., Wall, E. and Villanueva, B., 2004. Inbreeding trends and application of optimised selection in the UK Holstein population Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science, 2004, p 32.
Wall, E., Brotherstone, S., Woolliams, J. A., Banos, G. and Coffey, M. P., 2003. Genetic evaluation of fertility using direct and correlated traits. J. Dairy Sci. 86: 40934102.


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