Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

April 2000


Published in J. Anim. Sci. 2000. 78:1181–1190.


Data (n = 1,746) collected from 1985 through 1995 on Korean Native Cattle by the National Livestock Research Institute of Korea were used to estimate genetic parameters for marbling score, dressing percentage, and longissimus muscle area, with backfat thickness, slaughter age, or slaughter weight as covariates. Estimates were obtained with REML. Model 1 included animal genetic and residual random effects. Model 2 was extended to include an uncorrelated random effect of the dam. Model 3 was based on Model 1 but also included sire × region × year-season interaction effects. Model 4 combined Models 2 and 3. All models included fixed effects for region × year-season and age of dam × sex combinations. From single-trait analyses, estimates of heritability with covariates to adjust for backfat thickness, slaughter age, and slaughter weight from Model 4 were, respectively, .10, .08, and .01 for marbling score; .09, .12, and .16 for dressing percentage; and .18, .17, and .24 for longissimus muscle area. From three-trait analyses, estimates of genetic correlations between marbling score and dressing percentage, marbling score and longissimus muscle area, and dressing percentage and longissimus muscle area were, respec-tively, −.99, .20, and −.11 with backfat thickness as covariate; −.88, .47, and .01 with slaughter age as covariate; and −.03, .39, and .91 with slaughter weight as covariate. Results of this study suggest that choice of covariate (backfat thickness, slaughter age, or slaughter weight) for the model seems to be important for carcass traits for Korean Native Cattle. Including sire × region × year-season interaction effects in the model for marbling score and dressing percentage may be important because whether sire × region × year-season interaction effects were in the model affected estimates of other variance components for the three carcass traits. Whether the maternal effect was in the model had little effect on estimates of other parameters. With backfat thickness and slaughter age end points, selection for increasing marbling score would be expected to result in decreasing dressing percentage for Korean Native Cattle. With slaughter weight as a covariate for end point, increased longissimus muscle area would be associated with increased dressing percentage, and increased marbling score would be related to increased longissimus muscle area. The differences in estimates associated with choice of end point, however, need further study.