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Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality

Selection for economic characters in Australian Merino sheep. VI. Inheritance and interrelationships of some subjectively graded characteristics

FHW Morley

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 6(6) 873 - 881
Published: 1955


Genetic and phenotypic relationships among subjectively graded characteristics were examined in a flock of Merino sheep a t Trangie Agricultural Experiment Station. Estimates of heritability were: wool handle, 0.30; wool colour, 0.63; wool character, 0.38; back wool, 0.00; hocks, 0.14; face cover, 0.38. The genetic correlation between face cover and fleece weights suggested that selection for fleece weight would increase "wool-blindness", with possible diminution of reproductive efficiency. Selection for wools of good character (well-defined crimp) would improve softness and would not decrease fleece weight. The conclusion emerging from this and previous studies is that intense selection for high fleece weight will be rewarded by substantial increases, and will be offset only partly by adverse changes in a few of the several characters investigated.

© CSIRO 1955

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