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Estimation of genetic parameters and season effects for semen traits in three pig breeds of South China

Li, Xiujin, Jiang, Bo, Wang, Xibin, Liu, Xiaohong, Zhang, Qin, Chen, Yaosheng
Journal of animal breeding and genetics 2019 v.136 no.3 pp. 183-189
Duroc, Yorkshire (swine breed), animal models, boars, genetic analysis, genetic correlation, heritability, landraces, profitability, semen, sperm concentration, sperm motility, spermatozoa, China
The economic profitability of a boar station largely depends on semen quantity and quality traits. However, genetic analysis of semen traits has not yet been done in the boar population in China. In this study, we aimed to estimate genetic parameters for semen traits and the influence of seasons on these traits by using data of Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire boars in South China. The following four semen traits were analysed: semen volume (ml; VOL), sperm concentration (10⁶/ml; DEN), sperm motility (MOT) and percentage of abnormal sperm (ABN). Genetic parameters and season effects were estimated simultaneously for each breed by using a multiple‐trait (4 × 4) repeatability animal model. The four traits had a moderate heritability with average estimates of 0.23, 0.28, 0.26 and 0.17 across the three breeds, respectively. The estimates of genetic correlations among four traits differed in the three breeds. In particular, in Yorkshire, the four traits were nearly genetically independent. The season of collecting semen had a significant impact on these four semen traits except ABN in Duroc (Bonferroni adjusted p < 0.05/6). The moderate heritabilities indicate the possibility of effective selection of boars for semen traits. Different genetic correlations for the three breeds suggest that the selection strategy for the four traits should be investigated separately for each breed. Some necessary actions should be taken to reduce the influence of seasons on semen traits.