Genetic Relationship Between the United States and Canadian Holstein Bull Populations


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The average additive genetic relationship and degree of connectedness between American and Canadian Holstein AI bull populations were estimated. This project was undertaken to determine the feasibility of a joint United States-Canadian sire evaluation to estimate genetic base differences between the two countries‘Holstein bull populations. Data were provided by USDA and Agriculture Canada for bulls evaluated in each country. Bulls were designated as American, Canadian, or dual national origin based on their country of registration and national origin of their parents. A total of 13,079 American, 1683 Canadian, and 256 dual origin bulls were included in the inverse relationship matrix. When both sire and maternal grandsire relationships were included in the matrix, there were 174 disconnected groups; however, 99% of the American bulls and 97% of the Canadian bulls were in a single group. The average aij between the American and Canadian population was 4.6×10−5. Despite the low average additive relationship between the two national populations, the high degree of connectedness in the inverse relationship matrix, when using both sire and maternal grandsire relationships, suggests sufficient genetic ties between the two populations to conduct a meaningful joint sire evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1346-1354
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1988

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