Selection for ovulation rate in rabbits:Genetic parameters, direct response, and correlated response on litter size

Autores UPV
Año
Revista JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE

Abstract

The aim of this work was to evaluate the response to 10 generations of selection for ovulation rate. Selection was based on the phenotypic value of ovulation rate, estimated at d 12 of the second gestation by laparoscopy. Selection pressure was approximately 30%. Line size was approximately 20 males and 80 females per generation. Traits recorded were ovulation rate at the second gestation, estimated by laparoscopy as the number of corpora lutea in both ovaries; ovulation rate at the last gestation, estimated postmortem; ovulation rate, analyzed as a single trait including ovulation rate at the second gestation and ovulation rate at the last gestation; right and left ovulation rates; ovulatory difference, estimated as the difference between the right and left ovulation rates; litter size, estimated as the total number of kits born and the number of kits born alive, both recorded at each parity. Totals of 1,477 and 3,031 records from 900 females were used to analyze ovulation rate and litter size, respectively, whereas 1,471 records were used to analyze ovulatory difference, right ovulation rate, and left ovulation rate. Data were analyzed using Bayesian methodology. Heritabilities of ovulation rate, litter size, number of kits born alive, right ovulation rate, left ovulation rate, and ovulatory difference were 0.16, 0.09, 0.08, 0.09, 0.04 and 0.03, respectively. Phenotypic correlations of ovulation rate with litter size, number of kits born alive, and ovulatory difference were 0.09, 0.01, and 0.14, respectively. Genetic correlations of ovulation rate with litter size and with number of kits born alive were estimated with low accuracy, and there was not much evidence for the sign of the correlation. The genetic correlation between ovulation rate and ovulatory difference was positive (P = 0.91). In 10 generations of selection, ovulation rate increased in 1.32 oocytes, with most of the response taking place in the right ovary (1.06 oocytes), but there was no correlated response on litter size (-0.15 kits). In summary, the direct response to selection for ovulation rate was relevant, but it did not modify litter size because of an increase in prenatal mortality. © 2011 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.