Nonadditive genetic effects were estimated from field data for milk production traits in two crossbred dairy populations; Holstein Friesian x Dutch Friesian (FH) and Holstein Friesian x Dutch Red and White (DRW). Estimates for nonadditive genetic effects for milk yield were small; heterosis was 2.2% for FH crosses, and 2.4% for DRW crosses, and effects of recombination loss were -1.8% for FH and 6.9% for DRW crosses. Ignoring nonadditive effects led to overestimation of heritability and significantly biased additive breed differences. Nonadditive effects do not have to be utilized but they should be accounted for when data from crossbred populations is analyzed. Nonadditive genetic variation within breeds has been d ifficu lt to estimate accurately. Current changes of dairy breeding programs allow better estimation of dominance variation as well as more potential for its use.

Julius HJ van der Werf

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XIV. Dairy cattle genetics and breeding, adaptation and conservation., , 118–121, 1990
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