Estimation of genetic correlations and genomic prediction accuracy for reproductive and carcass traits in Hanwoo cows

Md Azizul Haque1, Asif Iqbal1, Mohammad Alam1, Yun-Mi Lee1, Jae-Jung Ha2,*, Jong-Joo Kim1,**
Author Information & Copyright
1Department of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38541, Korea.
2Gyeongbuk Livestock Research Institute, Yeongju 36052, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Jae-Jung Ha, Gyeongbuk Livestock Research Institute, Yeongju 36052, Korea, Republic of. Phone: +82-54-630-4549. E-mail:
**Corresponding Author: Jong-Joo Kim, Department of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38541, Korea, Republic of. Phone: +82-53-810-3027. E-mail:

© Copyright 2023 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study estimated the heritabilities (h<sup>2</sup>) and genetic and phenotypic correlations between reproductive traits, including calving interval (CI), age at first calving (AFC), gestation length (GL), number of artificial inseminations per conception (NAIPC), and carcass traits, including carcass weight (CWT), eye muscle area (EMA), backfat thickness (BF), and marbling score (MS) in Korean Hanwoo cows. In addition, the accuracy of genomic predictions of breeding values was evaluated by applying the genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) and the weighted GBLUP (WGBLUP) method. The phenotypic data for reproductive and carcass traits were collected from 1,544 Hanwoo cows, and all animals were genotyped using Illumina Bovine 50K SNP chip. The genetic parameters were estimated using a multi-trait animal model using the MTG2 program. The estimated h<sup>2</sup> for CI, AFC, GL, NAIPC, CWT, EMA, BF, and MS were 0.10, 0.13, 0.17, 0.11, 0.37, 0.35, 0.27, and 0.45, respectively, according to the GBLUP model. The GBLUP accuracy estimates ranged from 0.51 to 0.74, while the WGBLUP accuracy estimates for the traits under study ranged from 0.51 to 0.79. Strong and favorable genetic correlations were observed between GL and NAIPC (0.61), CWT and EMA (0.60), NAIPC and CWT (0.49), AFC and CWT (0.48), CI and GL (0.36), BF and MS (0.35), NAIPC and EMA (0.35), CI and BF (0.30), EMA and MS (0.28), CI and AFC (0.26), AFC and EMA (0.24), and AFC and BF (0.21). The present study identified low to moderate positive genetic correlations between reproductive and carcass weight traits, suggesting that a heavier body weight may lead to a longer CI, AFC, GL, and NAIPC. The moderately positive genetic correlation between CWT and AFC, and NAIPC, with a phenotypic correlation of nearly zero, suggesting that the genotype-environment interactions are more likely to be responsible for the phenotypic manifestation of these traits. As a result, the inclusion of these traits by breeders as selection criteria may present a good opportunity for developing a selection index to increase the response to the selection and identification of candidate animals, which can result in significantly increased profitability of production systems.

Keywords: Carcass traits; Correlation; Hanwoo; Heritability; Reproductive traits