Ciência Rural, Santa Maria, v.

47: for
Genetic trends 03,mature
e20151506, 2017
body weight, visual scores, and growth traits in Nellore cattle.
ISSNe 1678-4596

Genetic trends for mature body weight, visual scores,
and growth traits in Nellore cattle
Celso Koetz Júnior1 Vanerlei Mozaquatro Roso2 Luís Afonso Marques Claus3
Rui Paulo Lopes de Oliveira4 Patrícia da Cruz Fávaro4 Marcelo Henrique Favaro Borges5
Júlio Otavio Jardim Barcellos6 Edson Luís de Azambuja Ribeiro7
Curso de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), PR 218, Km 01, Jardim Universitário, 86702-670, Arapongas, PR,
Brasil. E-mail: Corresponding author.
Gensys Consultores Associados Ltda., Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.
Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciência Animal, Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Londrina, PR, Brasil.
Programa de Pós-graduação em Saúde e Produção de Ruminantes, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Arapongas, PR, Brasil.
Curso de Graduação em Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Arapongas, PR, Brasil.
Núcleo de Estudos em Sistemas de Produção de Bovinos de Corte e Cadeira Produtiva (NESPRO), Departamento de Zootecnia, Faculdade de
Agronomia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.
Departamento de Zootecnia, Centro de Ciências Agrárias, Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Londrina, PR, Brasil.

ABSTRACT: Mature weight (MW) of cows is related to the costs of their production. Usually, cows with moderate MW are more efficient in
challenging environments, such as those available in the production systems in Brazil. In the present study, the selection index comprises the
following traits: conformation, finishing precocity, musculature at weaning (WC, WP, WM) yearling (YC, YP and YM), scrotal circumference
at yearling (SC), days to gain 160kg from birth to weaning (D160) and 240kg after weaning (D240). This are related to birth weight gain at
weaning (WG) and from weaning to yearling (YG). The mature (MW) and birth weight (BW) traits were not considered in the selection index.
The aim of this study was to estimate the values for the genetic trends (GT) of some important selection (MW) and economic traits (BW). A
bi-character analysis of MW and other characteristics was performed to estimate the (co)variance components and genetic parameters. The
GT results obtained for MW were null (0.0065% or 0.02718kg per year) in the period 1990-2007. The GT values were determined for BW
(-0.0650% or -0.02017kg), WG (0.0758% or 0.0865kg), YG (0.1051% or 0.11377kg), and MW (0.0393% or 0.11276kg) per year. The visual
score values (in score units) were also determined for GTat weaning [WC (0.2310%; 0.00707), WP (0.3624%; 0.3623%),aWM (0.01149;
0.01087)] yearling [YC (0.3256%; 0.00990), YP (0.4795%; 0.01496),YM (0.5041%; 0.01457)] per year. Index-based selection was effective to
promote genetic progress in WG, WC, WP, WM, YG, YC, YP, and YM characteristics keeping BW and MW constant.
Key words: beef cattle, productive traits, selection.

Tendência genética para peso adulto, escores visuais e características de
crescimento em bovinos de corte da raça Nelore

RESUMO: O peso adulto das vacas (PV) está relacionado com os custos de produção. Em geral, vacas com PV moderados são mais eficientes
em ambientes desafiadores, como aqueles disponíveis nos sistemas de produção no Brasil. No presente estudo, o índice de seleção compreende
as seguintes características: conformação, precocidade e musculatura nas fases da desmama (CD, PD e MD) e sobreano (CS, PS e MS),
circunferência escrotal no sobreano (CE), dias para ganhar 160kg do nascimento até a desmama (D160) e 240kg pós-desmama (D240), que
estão relacionadas com os ganhos de peso do nascimento à desmama (GD) e, da desmama ao sobreano (GS). As características PV e PN
não foram consideradas no índice de seleção. O objetivo deste estudo foi estimar os valores das tendências genéticas (TG) das importantes
características de seleção (PV) e econômicas (PN). Para estimar os componentes de (co)variâncias e os dados genéticos, foram realizadas
análises bi-caracter de PV com as demais características. Os resultados de TG obtidos para PV foram nulos (0,0065% ou 0,02718kg por ano)
no período de 1990 á 2007. Os valores de TG foram estimados para PN (-0,0650% ou -0,02017kg), GD (0,0758% ou 0,0865kg), GS (0,1051%
ou 0,11377kg) e PF (0,0393% ou 0,11276kg) por ano. Os valores dos escores visuais (em unidades de escore) foram determinados para TG à
desmama [CD (0,2310%; 0,00707), PD (0,3624%; 0,3623%) e MD (0,01149; 0,01087)] e sobreano [CS (0,3256%; 0,00990), PS (0,4795%;
0,01496) e MS (0,5041%; 0,01457)] ao ano. A seleção baseada no índice foi efetiva para promover o progresso genético nas características
de GD, CD, PD, MD, GS, CS, PS e mantendo PN e PV constantes.
Palavras-chave: bovinos de corte, características produtivas, seleção.

INTRODUCTION environmental factors that characterize the production
system (TEIXEIRA et al., 2006). However, this
The productive and reproductive efficiency is not static, as it changes as a function of
efficiency of beef cattle operations is directly related both production environment and farmers’ economic
to the genotype and its capacity for adaptation to the requirements. In addition, they can determine new
Received 11.05.15 Approved 09.29.16 Returned by the author 12.13.16
CR-2015-1506.R2 Ciência Rural, v.47, n.3, 2017.

or 5). YP. the CGs were formed by animals of the same herd.178 sires (77 progenies/sire) for weight gain observation vector for the second characteristic in the weaning-yearling (YG) period. Two-character analyzes were performed efficiency of genetic changes should be estimated to estimate the (co)variance components and by the responses to selection or genetic tendency genetic parameters of the MW character. v. Selection birth weight (BW). the aim of this study was to (SC). Goiás. as increase in birth weight range) were individually assigned to each animal. in commercial herds distributed model was employed (SHAEFFER. 2000).900 animals. Thus. scrotal parameters must meet new production targets.. According to PITA & ALBUQUERQUE (2001). adult age were collected from 40. weight gains from birth to efficiency can be assessed by direct response of the weaning (WG) and after weaning (YG). 2017. and the Herd. and weight gain on the herd frame size is essential. as described by SEVERO (1994). musculature characteristics.47. Monitoring these characteristics at yearling. and days to gain 160kg although the parameters are established. and final characteristics included in the selection index and weight (MW. finishing selection criteria. For other characteristics. and D160 and D240 are the numbers of days estimate and analyze the values for genetic trend of to gain 160kg from birth to weaning and 240kg after birth. which are not included in finishing precocity (YP).340 cows born in For data analysis. directly proportional to the first three and inversely standard deviations. finishing precocity. D240. and minimum and maximum proportional to the fourth one (BOURDON. and musculature management group formed the contemporary groups visual scores at weaning and yearling in a program (CGs) for the MW character. values are shown in table 1. production parameters of genotypes that are already by conformation. for genetic improvement of Nellore cattle. and the incidence (BELLOWS et al. and musculature used in the production systems. weight weaning. WG. determined by selection accuracy and intensity. composed by the D160. Paraná. YP.3. yearling.361 sires with 99 progenies/sire where: y1 = phenotypic observation were used for trait weight gains from birth to weaning vector for character MW. a two-character animal the period 1990-2007. progenies/sire)for the end weight (MW). Thus. Minas Gerais. MATERIALS AND METHODS The percentage weightings applicable on the standard expected progeny differences (EPD) of The data used in this study were extracted the characteristics included in the final index (INDF) from a genetic breeding program (Conexão Delta G) are as follows: INDF = 25 D160 + 4 WC + 8 WP + for Nellore cattle. WC. body condition (1. WM. and conformation. y2= phenotypic (WG). such as birth weight (BW) and mature (WM) scores at weaning and conformation (YC). evaluating the Animals were selected based on an index impact of selection programs. conformation responses correlated with economically important (WC). as well as their respective averages. if necessary. and 624 sires (17 of the pair of characteristics (BW. YC. Mato Grosso. being characteristic. The data for live weight (LW) in 8 WM + 25 D240 + 4 YC + 8 YM + 8 YM + 10 SC. and MW) analyzed. finishing precocity (WP). gains from birth to weaning and after weaning. and mature weights of cows. WP. WM. these genetic characteristics at weaning and yearling. 4. is directly related to the increase indystocic delivery being related to the management group. . YM. in kg) characteristics. costs (DICKERSON.2 Koetz Júnior et al. respectively. and 1. y 1   X 1 y  =  0 0  b 1  Z 1 + 0  a 1   W1 + 0  m 1  S 1 0  p 1  e 1  +  2  X 2  b 2   0 Z 2  a 2   0 W2  m 2   0 S 2  p 2  e 2  and Tocantins. 1978). YC. weights (MW) of cows. weighing year and season. which is in the states of Bahia. b1 = On farms where these data were generated. 2011). through genetic tendency and redirecting the Scores for conformation (C). finishing precocity. and YM characteristics. with the of characteristics of economic interest. 1971) and increase in highest notes indicate a stronger presence of the cows’ mature weight results in increased maintenance characteristic. YG. growth characteristics. 1. 2. n. and final index (INDF). and musculature (M) scores (1-5 for livestock profitability. classification vector for fixed effects on MW of the animals were selected based on an index formed CG. 3. sex. and generation interval. pregnancy Ciência Rural. WP. from birth to weaning and 200kg in the post weaning- The speed of these genetic changes is yearling periods. is of great importance precocity (P). musculature (YM) scores the selection index. Mato described by the equation: Grosso do Sul. The pedigree file contained data from 397. circumference at yearling. birth year and season. São Paulo. WC. scrotal circumference Therefore. The number of observations per genetic variation. and management group.

v. BW. and growth traits in Nellore cattle. and musculature (WM) at weaning and weight gain from weaning to yearling (YG) and conformation (YC).69 45.00 5.12 1. WC.293 3.88 2. WG. BW. finishing precocity (WP).e. Characteristics Number of observations Mean values Standard deviations Minimum values Maximum values MW (kg) 40.638 3. v. YG. YP. The correlation authors (FERRAZ FILHO.00 5. and maternal MW.471 31. 3 Table 1 . b2 effects. finishing precocity (YP).18 36. as if each animal was evaluated by 10 characteristics measured in their progenies.00 MW (kg) 137. pi = generated each mean value.963 144. 6) program (REG procedure) was for character i. The Statistical Analysis maternal permanent environmental effect vector System (SAS.94 143.0650%/year (Table 2).. WG. according to the equation ha2= σa2/σt2.2).571 7. WM.00 3.00 YP (1-5 score) 186.07 1. Thus. and MW were YP.285 2.65 56. maternal genetic. Zi. respectively. and ei = random residual effect used.03 1. the genetic heritabilities and permanent maternal (p2) and trend observed in the study population was residual (e2) environmental effect were calculated by negative (-20g year-1) and its effect was significant dividing the respective variances by the total variance. The direct (ha2) and maternal (hm2) For birth weight (BW). and final index (INDF) characteristics.10 1.19 32. YM.00 674. WM.0001). The software package.426 108. n.5 514.07 0. stage (1.76 618.00 WG (kg) 339. = classification vector for CG fixed effects on The genetic trends for MW. WC.02718kgyear-1. Si are incidence two-character analysis of MW and the characteristics matrices relating the character i observations to the WG.00 AGE (days) 40. maternal permanent Results obtained in the period 1990-2007 environmental (σp2).12 1. YC.47.04 1. mature weight (MW). representing -0. mi = maternal year. and cow age linear and between the additive direct and maternal genetic quadratic co variable on the weighing day. weight gain from birth to weaning (WG) and conformation (WC). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The direct additive genetic (σa2) maternal additive genetic (σm2).09 1. 1997. hm2= σm2/σt2.00 WP (1-5 score) 285. by means using the digital mockup (DMU) permanent environmental effects.00 1. on average. This value is lower than that f reported by other p2= σp2/σt2.08 1.58 a The weighting factors of characteristics included in index calculation were defined for a base equal to 10. YC.562 286. YG.00 YM (1-5 score) 186.00 5. which proportions (σt2). or 4).00 5. 2017.3. i.21 WC (1-5 score) 285. weighing by the number of observations that additive genetic effect vector for character i.04 YC (1-5 score) 186. YC. YP. average. .00 5. WP. represents a genetic trend of 0. for analysis of multivariate mixed maternal additive genetic and maternal permanent models (MADSEN et al. 3. Genetic trends for mature body weight.292 3. was calculated by ram = σam/(σaσm).63 INDFa 113. the animal is superior by one EPD standard deviation in every characteristic integrating the index. visual scores.Number of observations. (P<0. YM.00 YG (kg) 181. standard deviation.89 1. index 10 indicates that.27 5.632 3. The genetic values used were obtained in a vector for characters i. Xi.00 367.and residual (σe2) variance are shown in table 2 and figure 1. They indicated a estimates were expressed as phenotypic variance null genetic trend for PV of 0. and fixed.77 15.340 417. e2= σe2/σt2. WM. environmental effects were not considered in the statistical model for MW. VAN MELIS et Ciência Rural. 2. and σt2 = σa2 + σm2 + σam + σp2 + σe2.00 60.88 2. 2006).00 BW (kg) 241. and calf and cow ages linear and calculated by regression for the mean genetic quadratic co variables. WP.. WP. YM.0065% year-1.06 1.340 5. ai = direct additive genetic (EPD x 2) value of cows as a function of birth effect vector for character i (i=1. WC. Wi. and musculature (YM) at yearling.00 WM (1-5 score) 285.11 34. respectively. minimum and maximum values for the birth weight (BW).38 41.26 300. and MW. YG.00 5. characteristics BW.17 1.00 20.12 26. direct genetic.640 3.

52 10-3 0.0001 0. conformation (YC).0001 0.929 WP (1-5 score) 0.518 <0.45 2.13 ± 0.076 <0. and musculature (WM) at weaning. and increase Regarding WG. not promoting an increase in birth weight. who estimated positive values of 80 17. This indicated that indicated a small genetic progress in the period selection for growth characteristics in the herd is studied and its effect was significant (P<0.18 7.16 10-2 0.25 9.0001 0.16 10-2 0.02 ± 0. and musculature (YM) yearling.697 MW (kg) 0.15 10-1 0. This and 70g year-1.0001 0. finishing precocity (WP). weight gain from birth to weaning (WG).Mean annual genetic values for body weight (BW) in two-character analysis with weight gain from birth to weaning (WG).03 10-2 0. longer anestrus period.021 <0. weight gain after weaning (YG). weight gain after weaning (YG).06 10-2 0. and yearling weight (YW).0527% of the phenotypic average.816 WC (1-5 score) 0. conformation (WC). and musculature (WM) at weaning.231 <0.15±0.50 ± 0.0001 0.5g year-1 for BW in the study population.3. .11276kg year-1.839 BW (kg) 0. conformation (YC).3 10 0.004 WG (kg) 0.Direct heritability (h2).36 10-1 0. respectively.18 8.105 <0.362 <0. YG. finishing precocity (YP).20 1.14±0. respectively.0001 0.0064 0.27 1. birth weight (BW).46 ± 0.73 10-3 0.0001 0.918 YP (1-5 score) 0. the Angus cattle and estimated a genetic trend of 0.. Table 2 . n. which Figure 1 . and MW growth in cost of labor. birth weight (BW) and yearling weight MW) characteristics.504 <0. conformation (WC). Characteristics h2 GT/year GT (%)/year Pr>t R² -2 MW (kg) 0.07±0. Ciência Rural.09±0.787 YC (1-5 score) 0.007 0. and musculature (YM) after weaning.33 10-2 -0. WEBER et al.65±1.949 WM (1-5 score) 0.17 1.039 0.08652.07 10-2 0.956 YG (kg) 0. significance (Pr>t) and determination coefficient (R²) of the live weight (MW).47.72±11.11377.8123 0.4 Koetz Júnior et al.065 <0. the annual increases were 0.27 1. it is desirable as high birth weights result in birth although the increase in weight was low.34 -2. finishing precocity (WP).852 YM (1-5 score) 0. difficulties. and 0.326 <0. 2001).90±0. 2017. v. which representing 0.27 1. finishing precocity (YP).0001 0. (2009) studied characteristics.401 al.0001).18 1.0001 0. annual genetic trend (GT) expressed in the character unit (GT/year) and relative to the phenotypic mean (GT%/year).

could serve as a basis for comparison.517 yearling (YG) and yearling weight (MW) showed and 0. and musculature (WM. During the study size (and weight) bulls in the program. and 0. (2011) estimated the genetic visual evaluation scores. 2017.67.01087) especially those (YC. genetic gains were observed in score units for Genetic trends estimated for weight gains the YC (0. YP (0. and musculature (YM) could be attributed to an increased use of moderate. (2003) for the YC (0. (WP. 0. and yearling weight (MW) obtained in the two-character analysis with adult weight of Nellore cows. and 0. at yearling are shown in table 2. respectively.00707).22%. (2007) also changes for WG (0.105. precocity (0.01149).219kg year-1. which corresponded to an annual average and musculature (0. period. weight gain from birth to weaning (WG). 0. YP (0. 0.3. They represent an increase (0. weight gain after weaning (YG). Ciência Rural. These characteristics are not are higher than those reported by VAN MELIS et included in the selection index. Genetic trends for mature body weight.01496). visual scores.42. FORNI et al. respectively). observed in the MW genetic values since 2001.3623%.13 and 0. 0. corresponding to an annual scores is possible. who reported improvement of characteristics evaluated with visual a trend of 0. In the present study.47. and YM correlated with D160 and D240. WM.030). a trend for stabilization can be Genetic trends for conformation (YC).186kgyear-1) and YG (0.Genetic mean values for birth weight (BW). corresponding to 0.030) scores.01457) from birth to weaning (WG) and from weaning to characteristics.224kg reported conformation (0. study period. These values favorable values.022).5041% per year.08% (or 5kg) in genetic change in the contribute to genetic gain of greater expression. which reaches a cumulative value of about 2kg average and. .112kg per year respectively) relative to the phenotypic year-1. and growth traits in Nellore cattle. which finishing precocity (YP).018) gains for Nellore cattle. and YM) evaluated yearling. Genetic trends were estimated (Table 2) The characteristics evaluated through for conformation (WC. YP. at weaning in terms of score units per year. of 0. YC. respectively. v.0758. finishing precocity scores (WC.2310. FORNI et al. are therefore. 0.3256. respectively. YP. 0. trend of 0. WP. (0. indicating genetic progress in the selection by LAUREANO et al. In figure 2. superior to those observed in the period studied. (2009) stated that they have not found in the YG) and days to reach certain weights (D160 and literature genetic trend estimates for visual scores that D240) were greater than 90% (data not shown). and YM) as expected.3624. These values are lower than those in the present study. n.031). 0. but they are positively al.0393 %/year.60% The genetic trend for MW was 0.00990). year-1). (2011). and YM (0.013). Both cases indicate that genetic obtained by LAUREANO et al. and 0. (2007) and WEBER the correlations between EPD in weight gain (GS and et al. 5 in percentage terms correspond to the annual values means (0. and use of selection indices can increase of 0. They The greater genetic trend values for visual scores represent annual genetic gains relative to phenotypic compared to those for weight gain characteristics is Figure 2 .

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