Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

July 1988


Published in J Dairy Sci 71:3390-3398. Copyright 1988. Used by permission.


Maternal cytoplasmic inheritance may cause an upward bias in heritability estimates from daughter on dam regression. Inaccurate evaluations of bulls or dams of future sires would result if such estimates were used in genetic evaluation. Expected genetic selection differential for bulls would be overestimated, but genetic gain would be little affected by incorrect heritability estimates. Genetic evaluations of dams of sires would be less accurate when incorrect heritability estimates are used, but actual selection differentials would be only slightly less than optimum. If cytoplasmic effects were ignored during selection, less genetic improvement would seem to be the result. However, expected genetic gain would be only slightly increased if selection considered both nuclear and cytoplasmic components of inheritance rather than nuclear inheritance only. Reasons for both results are that selection for cytoplasmic effects can be done directly only through dams of cows for which selection is not very intense and that overestimates of heritability have little effect on genetic selection differentials as compared to using correct estimates of heritability. Expected genetic gain, if based on overestimates of heritability, however, will be considerably greater than can be realized.