Our objective was to investigate the genetic basis of prolificacy in Iberian sows using three alternative approaches: an animal model with repeatability, a multitrait animal model (MTM), and a random regression model (RRM). Heterogeneity of heritabilities across parities was observed using the MTM, ranging from 0.13 to 0.06 (SE from 0.02 to 0.03), but only the genetic correlations between the first and the rest of the parities were lower than 0.80. Heritabilities using the RRM were lower at the first two parities (0.05 and 0.08, respectively), and fluctuate around 0.10 for the later ones. The genetic correlations were high between successive parities and decreased as the interval between parities increased. The MTM and RRM approaches would be useful to improve the low persistency of litter size in Iberian sows although their implementation would require the availability of a large set of litter size records.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 25.11, 2006
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