Evaluation of Crossbreeding Effects for Wool Traits in Sheep

  • Malik, B.S. (Department of Animal Breeding, CCS Haryana Agricultural University) ;
  • Singh, R.P. (Department of Animal Breeding, CCS Haryana Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2005.04.11
  • Accepted : 2005.09.01
  • Published : 2006.11.01


Crossbreeding effects for wool quality traits viz. greasy fleece weight (kg), staple length (cm), average fibre diameter (${\mu}$) and medulation percentage were estimated using the Dickerson's and Kinghorn's models. The data analyzed involved 15 genetic groups including Nali purebred, $F_1$'s of two and three breeds, $F_2$'s and reciprocal crossbred obtained from the crossing of Nali (N), Merino (M) and Corriedale (C) breeds during 1980-96. Nali and Corriedale breeds had non-significant negative additive genetic effects (Dickerson's model) on greasy fleece weight, while effects of Corriedale were negative for staple length only from both models. In general additive genetic effects of all three breeds were non-significant for all the wool traits except medulation percentage. Non significant heterotic and recombination effects (epistatic loss) were estimated from both models. However, the estimates of crossbreeding effects varied between the models both in magnitude as well as in direction barring few exceptions. Undesirable positive heterosis was found on medulation percentage for all types of combinations involving three breeds. Comparison of least squares means of various genetic groups revealed that both two breed and three breed crosses were superior to the Nali breed for all wool quality traits. Fibre diameter of MN crossbreds was significantly less than CN crossbreds. Results also indicated that as the inheritance of Nali breed in a cross is decreased, the medulation percentage decreases which is desirable. Inter se mating of crossbreds (two breed, three breed) has not resulted in a decline in the wool quality traits. These results indicate that the synthetic population derived from three breeds can be stabilized easily for wool traits as there may not be epistatic loss on subsequent inter se mating of crossbreds.


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