Evaluation of cytoplasmic genetic effects for production and reproduction traits in Afrikaner cattle
The influence of cytoplasmic effects on weaning weight (WW) and age at first calving (AFC) were investigated in the South African Afrikaner beef breed. A total of 14 535 AFC records (1974 - 2008) and 68 152 WW records (1974 - 2011) were used in the estimation of variance components. All cows were assigned to different damlines, using the pedigree information available. The model used for WW include direct additive, maternal additive, the covariance between the animal-, permanent maternal environmental-, herd-year-season x sire- and damline effects, while the simplest model which include only direct- and damline effects were used for AFC. The contribution of the cytoplasmic effects to the total variance was negligible (less than 0.5%) for both traits. These results suggest that cytoplasmic effects can be ignored in genetic evaluations of Afrikaner cattle for the traits investigated.
Keywords: Age at first calving, beef cattle, damline, weaning weight