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Estimation of Genetic Parameters from Longitudinal Records of Body Weight of Berkshire Pigs

  • Lee, Dong-Hee ;
  • Do, Chang-Hee
  • Received : 2011.12.17
  • Accepted : 2012.03.02
  • Published : 2012.06.01

Abstract

Direct and maternal genetic heritabilities and their correlations with body weight at 5 stages in the life span of purebred Berkshire pigs, from birth to harvest, were estimated to scrutinize body weight development with the records for 5,088 purebred Berkshire pigs in a Korean farm, using the REML based on an animal model. Body weights were measured at birth (Birth), at weaning (Weaning: mean 22.9 d), at the beginning of a performance test (On: mean 72.7 d), at the end of a performance test (Off: mean 152.4 d), and at harvest (Finish: mean 174.3 d). Ordinary polynomials and Legendre with order 1, 2, and 3 were adopted to adjust body weight with age in the multivariate animal models. Legendre with order 3 fitted best concerning prediction error deviation (PED) and yielded the lowest AIC for multivariate analysis of longitudinal body weights. Direct genetic correlations between body weight at Birth and body weight at Weaning, On, Off, and Finish were 0.48, 0.36, 0.10, and 0.10, respectively. The estimated maternal genetic correlations of body weight at Finish with body weight at Birth, Weaning, On, and Off were 0.39, 0.49, 0.65, and 0.90, respectively. Direct genetic heritabilities progressively increased from birth to harvest and were 0.09, 0.11, 0.20, 0.31, and 0.43 for body weight at Birth, Weaning, On, Off, and Finish, respectively. Maternal genetic heritabilities generally decreased and were 0.26, 0.34, 0.15, 0.10, and 0.10 for body weight at Birth, Weaning, On, Off, and Finish, respectively. As pigs age, maternal genetic effects on growth are reduced and pigs begin to rely more on the expression of their own genes. Although maternal genetic effects on body weight may not be large, they are sustained through life.

Keywords

Age;Body Weights;Direct and Maternal Genetic Effects

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