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Genetic parameters for bodyweight, wool, and disease resistance and reproduction traits in Merino sheep. 4. Genetic relationships between and within wool traits



Genetic parameters for bodyweight, wool, and disease resistance and reproduction traits in Merino sheep. 4. Genetic relationships between and within wool traits



Animal Production Science 49(4): 289-296



The aim of this paper was to describe the genetic relationship among expressions at different ages of seven wool traits: greasy and clean fleece weights, fibre diameter, coefficient of variation of fibre diameter, staple length and strength, and mean fibre curvature. Genetic correlations among measurements at different ages for the same trait were moderate to high, and ranged from similar to 0.6 for both fleece weights to 0.9 and higher for mean fibre diameter and curvature. Generally, low to moderate genetic correlations (0.3-0.4) were estimated between fleece weights and fibre diameter, clean fleece weight and staple length, and fibre diameter and staple strength. Small positive genetic correlations (0.2) were estimated between greasy and clean fleece weight with fibre diameter coefficient of variation, and between fibre diameter and staple length. Mean fibre curvature had a negative genetic correlation (approximately -0.4) with most other wool traits, the exceptions were staple strength (similar to 0.0) and coefficient of variation of fibre diameter (approximately -0.1). Fibre diameter, staple length and staple strength had negative genetic correlations with coefficient of variation of fibre diameter (-0.15, -0.10, and -0.61, respectively). The results indicate that for most wool traits only one measurement across ages is required to make accurate selection decisions. The relationships between traits are generally moderate to low suggesting that simultaneous genetic improvement is possible.

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