Evidence for a major gene in mice, inherited as an autosomal recessive, which increases postweaning growth rate and mature size by as much as 50% has recently been presented. The gene is expressed in both growth neutral and growth selected backgrounds without dramatically altering the chemical composition of growth. The gene also acts to decrease the maintenance energy requirements at the same time it increases the energetic efficiency of growth. Current data on skeletal growth suggest that growth hormone is not the principal initiator of these observations. In general, the fertility of both males and females homozygous for the major allele is lower, yet more variable, than that of controls without the major gene.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XI. Genetics of reproduction, lactation, growth, adaptation, disease, and parasite resistance., , 383–388, 1986
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