Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 2002


Published in Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 85, No. 6, 2002.


The objective was to examine the direct and correlated responses of linear type, yield traits, and somatic cell scores (SCS) to divergent selection for predicted transmitting ability for type (PTAT) in Holsteins, while maintaining selection for yield traits across lines. For four generations, one-half of the University of Nebraska research Holstein herd was bred to Holstein sires with PTAT -1.50 and the other half to sires with PTAT - 1.25, with nearly equal predicted transmitting abilities for yield traits for both groups. Estimates of genetic and residual correlations and heritabilities were obtained from REML estimates of (co)variance components. Model for type traits included fixed effect of date cows were classified, effects of age in days at freshening, and stage of lactation at classification. Year-season when cows freshened was fixed effect in model for yield and SCS. Animal genetic and residual effects were random. Final score, milk, fat, and protein yields, and SCS had heritability estimates of 0.38, 0.13, 0.22, 0.09, and 0.38, respectively. Heritability estimates for type traits ranged from 0.04 to 0.52. Estimates of genetic correlations of final score with SCS and milk, fat, and protein yields were -0.64, 0.01, -0.18, and 0.06, respectively. Estimates of genetic correlations among linear type traits ranged from -0.77 to 1.00. Means of estimated breeding values for final score, stature, strength, body depth, fore udder attachment, rear udder height and width, udder cleft, udder depth, and front teat placement were significantly different between lines in the third generation. Milk, fat, and protein yields were not significantly different between lines in third generation, whereas SCS was significantly different. Estimate of genetic correlation between final score and SCS suggest that selection on PTAT would result in a change for SCS. In this study, divergent selection on PTAT of sires had a significant effect on udder and body traits, but little or no effect on feet and leg traits.