Visiting Scientists

Geraldo de Carvalho

Associated to Labex Scientist Alfredo Augusto C. Alves

Analysis of the performance of “Pé-Duro” cattle (Bos taurus taurus) in semi-arid areas of Brazil and genetic distance among other breeds

Research team: Geraldo de Carvalho – Embrapa Mid-North, Teresina, PI; Harvey Blackburn – National Coordinator of Animal Genetic Resources, NCGRP, Fort Collins CO; and Phil Purdy – NCGRP/ARS, Fort Collins CO.

Objectives: To carry out morphological, reproductive and productive statistical evaluation of “Pé-Duro” cattle; determine effective population, average generation interval, birth rate and growth rate; phenotypic performance over time for a number of traits of interest, including body weight measurements and levels of fertility; and genetic distance studies among “Pé-Duro” cattle and others Brazilian and North American breeds of cattle and goats.

Approach: Statistical evaluation of a database of the herd 'Pé-Duro', Nellore and their crossbreeds. Extraction of DNA in blood samples collected from various breeds and evaluation to estimate the distance of the diverse genetic groups.

Results: The 'Pé-Duro' cattle has a great potential for meat production where other breeds barely survive. The smaller size of the 'Pé-Duro' body results in more efficient animals in the use of seasonal and scarce forage resources, in addition to better adaptation to hot and dry. For cattle: The populations were grouped according to their geographical origin. The Zebu and Brazilian local breeds are distinct from other North American breeds. The genetic distance between rare and commercial populations indicates the possibility of use in plant breeding in order to gain heterosis. However more herds and breeds need to be investigated. For goats: The Boer goats raised in Brazil and the United States are part of the same population. The North American rare breeds have been formed from the same founder core and are distinct from Brazil. The distance between rare and commercial breeds, in both countries, indicate the possibility of use in plant breeding for the heterosis. Submission and approval of 2 abstracts to be presented (as poster or oral presentation) in the ‘49a. Reunião da Sociedade Brasileira de Zootecnia’, in Brasília, DF, Brazil, Jul. 23-26, 2012 (http://www.reuniao2012.sbz.org.br). Submission of 2 abstracts to be presented (as poster or oral presentation) in the ‘II Congresso Brasileiro de Recursos Genéticos (CBRG)’ in : Belém, PA, Brazil, Sep. 24-28, 2012 (http://sbrg2012.com.br/).