Estimation of litter size variability phenotypes in Large White sows
Dobrzański, Jan ; Mulder, Han A. ; Knol, Egbert F. ; Szwaczkowski, Tomasz ; Sell-Kubiak, Ewa - \ 2020
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics (2020). - ISSN 0931-2668
pigs - reproductive traits - total number born - trait's variation
The objective of this study was to obtain new phenotypes of phenotypic variability for the total number born (TNB) in pigs using the residual variance of TNB. The analysis was based on 246,799 Large White litter observations provided by Topigs Norsvin. Three animal models were used to obtain estimates of residual variance for TNB: the basic model (BM) containing fixed effects of farm–year and season and random effects of animal and permanent environmental sow, the basic model with an additional fixed effect of parity (BMP) and a random regression model (RRM). The within-individual variance of the residuals was calculated and log-transformed to obtain three new variability traits: LnVarBM, LnVarBMP and LnVarRRM. Then, (co)variance components, heritability, the genetic coefficient of variation at the standard deviation level (GCVSDe) and genetic correlations between the three LnVar's and between the LnVar's and mean total number born (mTNB) were estimated with uni-, bi- and trivariate models. Results indicated that genetically LnVar's are the same trait and are positively correlated with the mTNB (~0.60). Thus, both traits should be included in breeding programmes to avoid an increase in TNB variability while selecting for increased TNB. Heritability of the LnVar's was estimated at 0.021. The GCVSDe for LnVar's showed that a change of 8% in residual standard deviation of TNB could be obtained per generation. Those results indicate that phenotypic variability of litter size is under genetic control, thus it may be improved by selection.
Selecting for changes in average “parity curve” pattern of litter size in Large White pigs
Sell-Kubiak, Ewa ; Knol, Egbert Frank ; Mulder, Herman Arend - \ 2019
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics 136 (2019)2. - ISSN 0931-2668 - p. 134 - 148.
random regression - reproduction traits - sows - total number born - within-sow variation
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.