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Journal of Dairy Science, Vol 75, Issue 5 1331-1341, Copyright 1992 by American Dairy Science Association


The importance of maternal lineage on milk yield traits of dairy cattle

M. M. Schutz, A. E. Freeman, D. C. Beitz and J. E. Mayfield
Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames 50011.

Maternal lineage effects on milk yield traits, considered indicative of cytoplasmic inheritance, were evaluated with animal models. Cattle were from a selection experiment begun in 1968. Maternal pedigrees were traced to the first female member in the Holstein-Friesian Herdbook; purchased cows entering the herd, considered foundation females, were assigned to maternal lineage groups. All models accounted for year-season of calving, parity, and selection lines. Maternal lineage effects were included in a repeated records model with cow effects and preadjustment for sire and maternal grandsire transmitting abilities. Maternal lineage accounted for 5.2, 4.1, and 10.5% of phenotypic variation of preadjusted records of milk yield, fat yield, and fat percentage, respectively. Maternal lineage was evaluated as a fixed effect in an animal model including random animal and permanent environmental effects. Maternal lineage significantly affected fat percentage but not milk yield. Maternal genetic (nuclear) effects and their covariance with additive animal effects did not significantly account for additional variation nor did they influence maternal lineage estimates. Maternal lineage affected calculated net energy of milk but was not important for SNF yield or concentration. Maternal lineage influenced fat percentage, energy concentration, and, to a lesser extent, fat yield in milk of dairy cattle.

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Copyright 1992 by the American Dairy Science Association.