Direct and maternal genetic effects for carcass traits in beef cattle.

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Carcass measurements were taken on 1,537 steers produced over four generations in a rotational crossbreeding study. Breed direct and maternal additive and heterotic genetic effects were estimated for hot carcass weight (HCWT), retail yield (RY), longissimus muscle area (LM), fat thickness (FT), marbling score (MS), and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS). Angus (A), Brahman (B), Charolais (C), and Hereford (H) breeds were involved in straightbred, first-cross, and two-, three-, and four-breed rotational crossbred matings with each crossbred combination including the B. Breed direct (Ig) and maternal (Mg) additive genetic effects and direct (Ih) and maternal (Mh) heterotic genetic effects were estimated using a multiple-regression model. The Ig and Mg effects were expressed as deviations from the overall mean. The IgC effects (Ig for C breed) were significant for HCWT, RY, and LM and resulted in leaner, heavier carcasses. The IgA and IgH effects were, in general, negative (P < .05) for HCWT, RY, LM, and WBS, and positive (P < .01) for FT and MS. The IgB effects were large and undesirable for HCWT, RY, LM, MS, and WBS (P < .01). The majority of Ih effects were beneficial (P < .05) for HCWT, RY, LM, and WBS. The Ih effects exhibited by B combinations were of greater (P < .05) magnitude with positive influences for HCWT, RY, and LM and desirable effects for WBS. The maternal additive and heterotic effects were of lesser importance than the direct additive and heterotic effects for the carcass traits studied.

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Journal of animal science

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