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Bayesian segregation analysis of milk flow in Swiss dairy cattle using Gibbs sampling

Author(s): Ilahi Houcine | Kadarmideen Haja

Journal: Genetics Selection Evolution
ISSN 0999-193X

Volume: 36;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 563;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: segregation analysis | Bayesian method | major gene | milk flow | Swiss cattle

Abstract Segregation analyses with Gibbs sampling were applied to investigate the mode of inheritance and to estimate the genetic parameters of milk flow of Swiss dairy cattle. The data consisted of 204 397, 655 989 and 40 242 lactation records of milk flow in Brown Swiss, Simmental and Holstein cattle, respectively (4 to 22 years). Separate genetic analyses of first and multiple lactations were carried out for each breed. The results show that genetic parameters especially polygenic variance and heritability of milk flow in the first lactation were very similar under both mixed inheritance (polygenes + major gene) and polygenic models. Segregation analyses yielded very low major gene variances which favour the polygenic determinism of milk flow. Heritabilities and repeatabilities of milk flow in both Brown Swiss and Simmental were high (0.44 to 0.48 and 0.54 to 0.59, respectively). The heritability of milk flow based on scores of milking ability in Holstein was intermediate (0.25). Variance components and heritabilities in the first lactation were slightly larger than those estimates for multiple lactations. The results suggest that milk flow (the quantity of milk per minute of milking) is a relevant measurement to characterise the cows milking ability which is a good candidate trait to be evaluated for a possible inclusion in the selection objectives in dairy cattle.
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