Wool follicle traits and mean fibre diameter (MFD) of ½ Merino ½ Romney F¹ (MR), and ¾ Merino ¼ Romney backcross (MRM) were compared. Skin and midside samples were collected from 25 ewes and rams of MR and 420 MRM progeny. MRM was lower than MR for MFD by 3.0 mm, follicle fibre area (FFA) by 162.4 mm², and diameter (FFD) by 4.1 mm, but greater for total follicle density (DEN) by 21.7 mm-2 , primary density (PD) by 0.8 mm-2 , and secondary to primary ratio (SPR) by 4.8 units. Most traits had significant differences (P<0.05) for birth year, breed and sire group, but only PD and SPR were significant for sex and birth/rearing rank. FFD was positively correlated (P<0.001) with MFD (r = 0.22), and the relationship had a common slope of 0.7, but intercepts were significantly different (P<0.01) across birth years (i.e. 13.5, 12.0, and 10.9 mm for born 1991, 1992, and 1993).

RN, Andrews, AE Beattie, KG Dodds, T Wuliji, and GW Montgomery

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 58, , 262-265, 1998
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