Genotype by climate interaction in the genetic evaluation for growing traits of Braunvieh cattle in Mexico.
The objective of this study was to determine the magnitude of genotype by climate interaction (GCI) in the national genetic evaluation for weaning (WW) and yearling (YW) weights of Mexican Braunvieh cattle. The numbers of performance records and animals in the pedigree were 12,364 and 25,173 for WW, and 7,991 and 18,072 for YW, respectively. Performance records were clustered based on climatological variables into: dry tropic (DT), wet tropic (WT), and temperate (TE) climates. Animal models were used to estimate genetic parameters and predict breeding values in each of the climates. Bivariate analyses were carried out for pairwise combinations of climates on each trait, considering the same trait in different climates as a different trait. Criteria to evaluate GCI were genetic correlations (r g), correlations between predicted breeding values (r BV), and frequencies of coincidence (FC) in the ranking of the top 25 sires. Results of comparisons between pairs of climates were variable, depending on specific cases. For WW, the r g, r BV, and FC ranged from -0.36 to 0.84, -0.60 to 0.97, and 0.16 to 0.92, respectively; whereas for YW, they fluctuated between 0.23 and 0.99, 0.33 and 1.00, and 0.60 and 1.00, respectively. For both traits, the results suggest absence of GCI between DT and TE; however, GCI was detected in the other pairs of climates, where WT was involved. To maximize genetic progress, the joint genetic evaluation should be performed only for animals with performance data in DT and TE, whereas a separated evaluation is suggested for animals with performance records generated under WT conditions.