Maternal influences are an important source of variation in mammalian species. While husbandry methods for farm species have tended to minimise or eliminate much of this source of variation in growth and development it is still of potential importance in beef and sheep populations. To the extent that this source of variation is genetically determined it should be taken into account in examining the efficiency of alternative livestock selection programmes. The presence of genetically determined maternal effects complicate the prediction of genetic gain. Some of these complications have been considered by Dickerson (1947), W illham (1963), Van Vleck (1970), Hanrahan and Eisen (1973, 1974) and Eisen et al. (1973). However, there has been little consideration given to how maternal genetic effects influence the relative efficiency of the common testing and selection procedures in animal breeding.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 3, Madrid, Spain, 391–395, 1974
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