South African Journal of Animal Science

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Preliminary report: Pedigree analysis of the Brangus cattle in South Africa

JW Steyn, FWC Neser, C Hunlun, PC Lubout


The aim of the study was to investigate some population parameters, including generation interval, inbreeding and effective population size of Brangus cattle in South Africa (SA) to assist in constructing an effective selection programme for the SA Brangus breed. Pedigree analysis can describe the genetic variability and change over time, making it an important tool to be used to assess parameters like generation interval, inbreeding, effective population size and number of animals selected against number born. These traits can be used to make more informed selection decisions in order to maintain a genetically healthy population through a better understanding of the dynamics within the population. A Population Structure- and Pedigree Analysis Report was generated with the PopReport programme from the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics (FLI) with a Brangus datafile containing 65 536 animals. Results were reported for the time period of 1986 to 2008 and the following results were obtained: 3-generation pedigree completeness is at 73.8% for 2008, with an inbreeding coefficient of 1.39% and an annual increase in inbreeding of 0.058%. Weighted generation interval was 5.17 years and the effective population size based on the average inbreeding was 166.7 animals.

Keywords: Pedigree analysis, Brangus, inbreeding
AJOL African Journals Online