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Genetic analysis of longitudinal measurements of performance traits in selection lines for residual feed intake in Yorkshire swine

Cai, W., Kaiser, M.S., Dekkers, J.C.M.
Journal of animal science 2011 v.89 no.5 pp. 1270-1280
boars, feed conversion, feed intake, gilts, line differences, models, regression analysis, residual effects
A 5-generation selection experiment in Yorkshire pigs for feed efficiency consists of a line selected for low residual feed intake (LRFI) and a random control line (CTRL). The objectives of this study were to use random regression models to estimate genetic parameters for daily feed intake (DFI), BW, backfat (BF), and loin muscle area (LMA) along the growth trajectory and to evaluate the effect of LRFI selection on genetic curves for DFI and BW. An additional objective was to compare random regression models using polynomials (RRP) and spline functions (RRS). Data from approximately 3 to 8 mo of age on 586 boars and 495 gilts across 5 generations were used. The average number of measurements was 85, 14, 5, and 5 for DFI, BW, BF, and LMA. The RRP models for these 4 traits were fitted with pen x on-test group as a fixed effect, second-order Legendre polynomials of age as fixed curves for each generation, and random curves for additive genetic and permanent environmental effects. Different residual variances were used for the first and second halves of the test period. The RRS models were fitted with the same fixed effects and residual variance structure as the RRP models and included genetic and permanent environmental random effects for both splines and linear Legendre polynomials of age. The RRP model was used for further analysis because the RRS model had erratic estimates of phenotypic variance and heritability, despite having a smaller Bayesian information criterion than the RRP model. From 91 to 210 d of age, estimates of heritability from the RRP model ranged from 0.10 to 0.37 for boars and 0.14 to 0.26 for gilts for DFI, from 0.39 to 0.58 for boars and 0.55 to 0.61 for gilts for BW, from 0.48 to 0.61 for boars and 0.61 to 0.79 for gilts for BF, and from 0.46 to 0.55 for boars and 0.63 to 0.81 for gilts for LMA. In generation 5, LRFI pigs had lower average genetic curves than CTRL pigs for DFI and BW, especially toward the end of the test period; estimated line differences (CTRL-LRFI) for DFI were 0.04 kg/d for boars and 0.12 kg/d for gilts at 105 d and 0.20 kg/d for boars and 0.24 kg/d for gilts at 195 d. Line differences for BW were 0.17 kg for boars and 0.69 kg for gilts at 105 d and 3.49 kg for boars and 8.96 kg for gilts at 195 d. In conclusion, selection for LRFI has resulted in a lower feed intake curve and a lower BW curve toward maturity.