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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 504570
Title Estimating the purebred-crossbred genetic correlation for uniformity of eggshell color in laying hens
Author(s) Mulder, Herman; Visscher, Jeroen; Fablet, Julien
Source Genetics, Selection, Evolution 48 (2016)1. - ISSN 0999-193X
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12711-016-0212-2
Department(s) Animal Breeding and Genetics
WIAS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract

Background: Uniformity of eggs is an important aspect for retailers because consumers prefer homogeneous products. One of these characteristics is the color of the eggshell, especially for brown eggs. Existence of a genetic component in environmental variance would enable selection for uniformity of eggshell color. Therefore, the objective of this study was to quantify the genetic variance in environmental variance of eggshell color in purebred and crossbred laying hens, to estimate the genetic correlation between environmental variance of eggshell color in purebred and crossbred laying hens and to estimate genetic correlations between environmental variance at different times of the laying period. Methods: We analyzed 167,651 and 79,345 eggshell color records of purebred and crossbred laying hens, respectively. The purebred and crossbred laying hens originated mostly from the same sires. Since eggshell color records of crossbred laying hens were collected per cage, these records could be related only to cage and sire family. A double hierarchical generalized linear sire model was used to estimate the genetic variance of the mean of eggshell color and its environmental variance. Approximate standard errors for heritability and the genetic coefficient of variation for environmental variance were derived. Results: The genetic variance in environmental variance at the log scale was equal to 0.077 and 0.067, for purebred and crossbred laying hens, respectively. The genetic coefficient of variation for environmental variance was equal to 0.28 and 0.26, for purebred and crossbred laying hens, respectively. A genetic correlation of 0.70 was found between purebred and crossbred environmental variance of eggshell color, which indicates that there is some reranking of sires for environmental variance of eggshell color in purebred and crossbred laying hens. Genetic correlations between environmental variance of eggshell color in different laying periods were generally higher than 0.85, except between early laying and mid or late laying periods. Conclusions: Our results indicate that genetic selection can be efficient to improve uniformity of eggshell color in purebreds and crossbreds, ideally by applying combined crossbred and purebred selection. This methodology can be used to estimate genetic correlations between purebred and crossbred lines for uniformity of other traits and species.

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