Variation in the whiteness and brightness of mohair associated with farm, season, and mohair attributes
McGregor, Bruce 2012, Variation in the whiteness and brightness of mohair associated with farm, season, and mohair attributes, Small ruminant research, vol. 107, no. 1, pp. 28-37, doi: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2012.06.002.
This work aimed to quantify factors affecting the reflectance attributes of Australian white mohair sourced from five different farms and to evaluate the effect of season and year on mohair grown by goats of known genetic origin in a replicated study. For the season study the mohair was harvested every three months for two years. All goats and their fleeces were weighed. Mid-side samples were tested for fibre diameter attributes, clean washing yield (CWY), staple length (SL) and for tristimulus values X, Y, Z and Y-Z. For the farm study (n = 196), linear models, relating Y, Z and Y-Z were fitted to farm of origin and other objective measurements. For the season and year study (n = 176), data were analysed by ANOVA and then by linear analysis. The variation accounted for by farm alone was: X, 22%; Y, 24%; Z, 12%; Y-Z, 30% (P < 0.001). Once farm had been taken into account, the regression models for X, Y and Z had similar significant terms: mean fibre diameter (MFD), CWY, SL and fibre diameter CV; and correlation coefficients (057–0.65). For Y-Z, in addition to farm only MFD was significant (P = 1.8 × 10−9). While X, Y, Z and Y-Z were significantly associated with clean fleece weight (CFwt), CFwt was not significant in any final model. Season affected mohair Y (P = 2.5 × 10−24), Z (P = 2.3 × 10−20) and Y-Z (P = 6.8 × 10−22). Autumn grown mohair had higher Y and Z, and summer grown mohair had lower Z than mohair grown in other seasons. This resulted in summer grown mohair having the highest Y-Z and winter grown mohair having the lowest Y-Z than mohair grown in other seasons. The differences between years in Y, Z and Y-Z were significant but not large. When Y, Z and Y-Z were modeled with season and other mohair attributes, MFD, CWY, CFwt, incidence of medullated fibre (Med) and sire were also significant terms. This model accounted for 62.1% of the variance. Over the range of Med (0.3–4.2%), Y-Z increased by 11 T units. Increasing CFwt 0.5 kg was associated with a decline in Y-Z of 7.5 T units. The variation in Y, Z and Y-Z associated with sire effects were respectively 2.66, 3.77, and 1.04 T units. In the farm and the season studies increasing MFD was associated with lower Y and Z and higher Y-Z. The extent of the differences in tristimulus values between seasons and years, were unlikely to be of commercial importance. The extent of the differences between farms, and to variations in MFD and Med were large enough to be of commercial importance. Clean mohair colour was artefactually biased by MFD.
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