Genetic Parameters of Direct and Maternal Effects for Growth Traits of Afshari Sheep

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Animal Science and Fisheries, Sari Agricultural Science and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran


The genetic parameters and (co) variance components of body weight at birth (BW), weaning (WW) and six months of age (BW6) and average daily gain (ADG) pre and post-weaning of Afshari sheep were estimated using restricted maximum likelihood (REML) methodology and animal model implemented in DFREML software. The likelihood ratio test (LRT) was used to compare the models. Year of birth, age of mother, sex of lamb and type of birth showed significant effects on studied traits, so they were considered as fixed effects in analyzing models. The direct heritability (h2) of BW, WW and BW6 and pre and post-weaning ADG were 0.231, 0.164, 0.246, 0.118 and 0.07, respectively, based on the best model. The maternal effects significantly influenced the pre-weaning traits. The maternal heritability (m2) of BW and the permanent maternal environment effects (c2) of WW and pre-weaning ADG were 0.219, 0.078 and 0.079, respectively. The direct additive genetic (ra) and phenotypic (rp) correlations between studied traits were positive in all cases and ranged from 0.425 to 0.990 and from 0.013 to 0.990, respectively. The maternal permanent environmental correlation (rc) between WW and pre-weaning ADG was 0.984.


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