Abstract

Litter size has a large phenotypic standard deviation and a high economic value hut a low heritability. Legault (1970) and Johansson (1 9 8 1) summarized several investigations and found on average a heritability for litter size at birth of ~0.10. Nelson and Robison (1976a) used crossfostering to establish postnatal environments of small (six piglets) and large (1U piglets) litters. Females reared in small litters produced larger litters compared to females reared in large litters. This shows that a negative covariance between direct genetic and postnatal maternal effects could be responsible for low heritability estimates as suggested by Revelle'et al (1973). Maternal effects are likely to bias heritability estimates from daughter-dam regressions downwards

H. AM van der Steen

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 7. Symposia (1), , 552–556, 1982
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