Estimation of genetic parameters for litter size in Charollais, Romney, Merinolandschaf, Romanov, Suffolk, Sumava and Texel breeds of sheep

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SCHMIDOVÁ, Jitka, MILERSKI, Michal, SVITÁKOVÁ, Alena, VOSTRÝ, Luboš and NOVOTNÁ, Alexandra. Estimation of genetic parameters for litter size in Charollais, Romney, Merinolandschaf, Romanov, Suffolk, Sumava and Texel breeds of sheep. Small Ruminant Research, 2014, 119, 33-38. ISSN 0921-4488.
Year2014
CathegoryScientific publication in impacted journals
Internal link14064.pdf
Abstract

The objective of this investigation was to estimate genetic parameters for litter size in Charollais, Romney, Merinolandschaf, Romanov, Suffolk, Sumava and Texel breeds of sheep. These breeds account for more than three quarters of the recorded sheep population in the Czech Republic. A total of 143,896 lambing records from 1990 to 2012 were analyzed. Variance components and genetic parameters for litter size were estimated separately for each breed using the animal model with repeatability. The model equation contained ewe age as a fixed effect and random effects of contemporary group, permanent environment and direct additive genetic effect of the animal. Estimates of phenotype variance (sigma(2)(P)) increased across breeds (0.236 for Sumava to 0.779 for Romanov) with increasing breed average for number of lambs per litter. Variance component estimates for permanent environmental effect of the ewe were low (0.0001-0.0262). The variance of common environment of contemporary group (sigma(2)(CG) = 0.0223-0.1309) had bigger influence on the total variability of litter size in almost all breeds then additive genetic variance (sigma(2)(a) = 0.0146-0.0587). The lowest heritability and repeatability estimates were for the Sumava (h(2) = 0.0619, r(rep)(2) = 0.0823) and Romney breeds (h(2) = 0.0626, r(rep)(2) = 0.0811), while the highest were for Merinoland-schaf (h(2) = 0.1091, r(rep)(2) = 0.1129). We conclude that genetic parameters did differ among the investigated breeds, which should be taken into account in breeding value estimation. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.