Estimation of Genetic Correlations and Selection Responses for Carcass Traits between Ultrasound and Real Carcass Measurements in Hanwoo Cows

  • Son, Jihyun (Department of Animal Life Resources, Hankyong National University) ;
  • Lee, Deukhwan (Department of Animal Life Resources, Hankyong National University)
  • Received : 2013.09.11
  • Accepted : 2013.11.21
  • Published : 2013.12.31


This study was conducted to determine genetic correlations among carcass traits measured by ultrasound and real carcass measurements and to estimate indirect selection responses for real carcass traits based on ultrasound measurements in Hanwoo cows. To accomplish this, 22,080 ultrasound measurement records from 17,926 cows collected from 2001 to 2012 and 11,907 carcass records obtained from fattened cattle from 2008 to 2012 were used. Genetic parameters were estimated based on eye muscle area (EMA), backfat thickness (BF) and marbling score (MS) measured by ultrasound-scanning of live cows and using the official technique on chilled bovine half-carcasses after slaughtering. Heritability and genetic correlation for carcass traits were estimated using a mixed model equation that consisted of environmental effects as fixed parameters and additive genetic effects and residual effects as random parameters, assuming that traits were different between ultrasound and carcass measurements. This statistical method was applied to the average information restricted maximum likelihood method. The heritability of EMA, BF and MS measured by ultrasound were 0.33, 0.61 and 0.46, respectively, while the heritability estimates of the corresponding traits based on carcass measurements were 0.29, 0.40 and 0.38, respectively and the genetic correlation between ultrasound and carcass traits for EMA, BF and MS were 0.41, 0.78 and 0.67, respectively. The genetic correlation between ultrasound and carcass traits was highly positive. Additionally, the selection response for marbling score was estimated to be 0.42 per generation if the cows were selected based on the ultrasound scan marbling score with an assumed selection intensity of 0.8. Overall, these results indicate that the ultrasound scan technique would be applicable to judging cow selection for genetically improved meat quality.


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