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Selecting for changes in average “parity curve” pattern of litter size in Large White pigs
- Sell‐Kubiak, Ewa, Knol, Egbert Frank, Mulder, Herman Arend
- Journal of animal breeding and genetics 2019 v.136 no.2 pp. 134-148
- Large White, genetic background, genetic variance, genetic variation, heritability, litter size, models, phenotype, reproductive performance, sows
- This study aimed to analyse genetic background of variation in reproductive performance between parities of a sow and to investigate selection strategies to change the “parity curve”. Total number born (TNB) recorded in Large White sows was provided by Topigs Norsvin. Analysis with basic (BM) and random regression (RRM) models was done in ASReml 4.1. The BM included only a fixed “parity curve”, while RRM included 3rd order polynomials for additive genetic and permanent sow effects. Parameters from RRM were used in simulations in SelAction 2.1. Based on Akaike information criterion, RRM was a better model for TNB data. Genetic variance and heritability estimates of TNB from BM and RRM were increasing with parity from parity 2. Genetically, parity 1 is the most different from parities 7 to 10, whereas most similar to parities 2 and 3. This indicates presence of genetic variation to change the “parity curve”. Based on simulations, the selection to increase litter size in parity 1 only increases TNB in all parities, but does not change the observed shape of “parity curve”, whereas selection for increased TNB in parity 1 and reduced TNB in parity 5 decreases differences between parities, but also reduces overall TNB in all parities. Changing the “parity curve” will be difficult as the genetic and phenotypic relationships between the parities are hard to overcome even when selecting for one parity.