Estimation of Covariance Functions for Growth of Angora Goats

  • Liu, Wenzhong ;
  • Zhang, Yuan ;
  • Zhou, Zhongxiao
  • Received : 2007.01.16
  • Accepted : 2009.03.25
  • Published : 2009.07.01


Body weights of 862 Angora goats between birth and 36 months of age, recorded on a semiyearly basis from 1988 to 2000, were used to estimate genetic, permanent environmental and phenotypic covariance functions. These functions were estimated by fitting a random regression model with 6th order polynomial for direct additive genetic and animal permanent environmental effects and 4th and 5th order polynomial for maternal genetic and permanent environmental effects, respectively. A phenotypic covariance function was estimated by modelling overall animal and maternal effects. The results showed that the most variable coefficient was the intercept for both direct and maternal additive genetic effects. The direct additive genetic (co)variances increased with age and reached a maximum at about 30 months, whereas the maternal additive genetic (co)variances increased rapidly from birth and reached a maximum at weaning, and then decreased with age. Animal permanent environmental (co)variances increased with age from birth to 30 months with lower rate before 12 months and higher rate between 12 and 30 months. Maternal permanent environmental (co)variances changed little before 6 months but then increased slowly and reached a maximum at about 30 months. These results suggested that the contribution of maternal additive genetic and permanent environmental effects to growth variation differed from those of direct additive genetic and animal permanent environmental effects not only in expression time, but also in action magnitude. The phenotypic (co)variance estimates increased with age from birth to 36 months of age.


Angora Goats;Growth;Covariance Function;Estimation;Random Regression Model


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