Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Using Genomics to Measure Phenomics: Repeatability of Bull Prolificacy in Multiple-bull Pastures

Version 1 : Received: 25 June 2021 / Approved: 29 June 2021 / Online: 29 June 2021 (12:54:42 CEST)

How to cite: Bennett, G.; Keele, J.; Kuehn, L.; Snelling, W.; Dickey, A.; Light, D.; Cushman, R.; McDaneld, T. Using Genomics to Measure Phenomics: Repeatability of Bull Prolificacy in Multiple-bull Pastures. Preprints 2021, 2021060705 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0705.v1). Bennett, G.; Keele, J.; Kuehn, L.; Snelling, W.; Dickey, A.; Light, D.; Cushman, R.; McDaneld, T. Using Genomics to Measure Phenomics: Repeatability of Bull Prolificacy in Multiple-bull Pastures. Preprints 2021, 2021060705 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0705.v1).

Abstract

Phenotypes are necessary for genomic evaluations and management. Sometimes genomics can be used to measure phenotypes when other methods are difficult or expensive. Prolificacy of bulls used in multiple-bull pastures for commercial beef production is an example. A retrospective study of 79 bulls aged 2-year-old and older used 141 times in 4-5 pastures across 4 years was used to estimate repeatability from variance components. Traits available before each season’s use were tested for predictive ability. Sires were matched to calves using individual genotypes and evaluating exclusions. A lower cost method of measuring prolificacy was simulated for 5 pastures using the bulls’ genotypes and pooled genotypes to estimate average allele frequencies of calves and of cows. Repeatability of prolificacy was 0.62 ± 0.09. A combination of age-class and scrotal circumference accounted for less than 5 % of variation. Simulated estimation of prolificacy by pooling DNA of calves was accurate. Adding pooling of cow DNA or actual genotypes both increased accuracy about the same. Knowing a bull’s prior prolificacy would help predict future prolificacy for management purposes and could be used in genomic evaluations and research with coordination of breeders and commercial beef producers.

Subject Areas

DNA pooling; parentage; reproduction

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