Macro-environmental sensitivity for growth rate in Danish Duroc pigs is under genetic control

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The aim of this study was to examine (i) the genetic variation in macro-environmental sensitivity (macro-ES) for ADG in Danish Duroc pigs, (ii) the genetic heterogeneity among sexes, and (iii) residual variance heterogeneity among herds. Record of ADG for 32,297 boars (19 herds) and 42,724 gilts (16 herds) was used for analysis. The data were provided by the National Danish Pig Research Centre. The analysis was performed by fitting univariate reaction norm models with the herd-year-month on test (HYM) effect as environmental covariates and herd-specific residual variance for boars and gilts separately under a Bayesian setting. The environmental covariate was inferred simultaneously with other parameters of the model. Gibbs sampling was used to sample model dispersion and location parameters. The posterior means and highest posterior density intervals of the additive genetic variance, genetic correlations for ADG, and heritability were calculated over the continuous environmental range of −3σh to +3σh (SD of the HYM effect). The coheritability of ADG at the average environmental level and ADG in the environments along the −3σh to +3σh environmental gradient were also calculated. The analysis showed significant variation in macro-ES, revealing genotype by environment interactions (G × E) for ADG. The presence of G × E resulted in changes in additive genetic variance and heritability across the −3σh to +3σh range. The genetic correlations were high and positive between ADG in environments differing by 1σh units or less and decreased to moderately positive between ADG in the extreme environments in both sexes. The coheritability of ADG in the environment at the average level and the −3σh environment for boars were greater than the heritability in the environment at the average level, while it was less for gilts. The coheritability of ADG in the environment at the average level and the +3σh environment for boars was less than heritability in the environment at the average level, while it was either the same or greater for gilts, depending on the residual variance. Boars had larger additive genetic and residual variances than gilts. Heterogeneity of residual variances across herds was shown for both sexes. In conclusion, this study shows the presence of macro-ES, genetic variance heterogeneity among sexes for ADG in pigs, and residual variance heterogeneity across herds.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Animal Science
Vol/bind96
Nummer12
Sider (fra-til)4967-4977
Antal sider11
ISSN0021-8812
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 3 dec. 2018

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