R. Bras. Zootec.. 11/Jun/2018;47:e20170033.
Impact of embryo transfer phenotypic records on large-scale beef cattle genetic evaluations
We aimed to evaluate the impact of using embryo transfer (ET) information on weaning weight estimated breeding values (EBV) and its accuracy. Data from Hereford and Braford cattle, raised under extensive conditions in Southern Brazil, were used. A model that included ET information in addition to maternal (genetic and permanent environmental) effects as a function of foster dams was compared to a model without ET information. Accuracy of both bulls and calves increased due to inclusion of ET records in 0.04 and 0.12 points, respectively. In general, the inclusion of ET records provided a greater amount of phenotypic variance and most accurate EBV for sires and progeny. The results obtained in this study encourage the use of ET phenotypic records in large-scale genetic evaluation programs, especially for bulls that have most of their progeny coming from ET. Most of the Brazilian genetic evaluation programs do not use phenotypic records of ET animals. Therefore, breeding values are predicted based only on parentage average, which implies in underestimated accuracies. Considering that ET has been widely used in Brazil and that such information improves genetic predictions, we suggest modifying the traditional adopted models by considering ET information in the Brazilian genetic evaluations.