Evaluation of genotype by environment interactions on milk production traits of Holstein cows in southern Brazil

  • Moreira, Raphael Patrick (Department of Animal Science, Ponta Grossa State University) ;
  • Pinto, Luis Fernando Batista (Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Bahia) ;
  • Valloto, Altair Antonio (Parana Holstein Breeders Association - APCBRH) ;
  • Pedrosa, Victor Breno (Department of Animal Science, Ponta Grossa State University)
  • Received : 2018.02.27
  • Accepted : 2018.07.16
  • Published : 2019.04.01


Objective: This study assessed the possible existence of genotype by environment interactions for milk, fat and protein yields in Holstein cattle raised in one of the most important milk production basins in Brazil. Methods: Changes in the genetic parameters and breeding values were evaluated for 57,967 animals from three distinct regions of southern Brazil, divided according to differences in climate. The genotype by environment interaction was determined by genetic correlations between regions, estimated by the restricted maximum likelihood, considering the animal model. Bull rankings were investigated to verify the ratio of coincident selected animals between regions for each trait. Results: The estimates of heritability coefficients were similar between two regions, but were lower in the third evaluated area, for all traits. Genetic correlations between regions were high, ranging from 0.91 to 0.99 for milk, fat and protein yields, representing the absence of a genotype by environment interaction for productive traits. The percentage of selection error between regions for the top 10% of animals ranged from 0.88% to 2.07% for milk yield, 0.99% to 2.46% for fat yield and 0.59% to 3.15% for protein yield. Conclusion: A slight change in genotype between areas was expected since no significant genotype by environment interactions were identified, facilitating the process of selecting Holstein cattle in southern Brazil.


Dairy Cattle;Environmental Effects;Genetic Evaluation;Milk Yield;Milk Solids


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