Global pig breeding programmes that have a central breeding goal, do not necessarily select the best pigs for specific local circumstances if genotype by environment interaction (GxE) is present. There is evidence for GxE for feed efficiency (FE) traits. While in the Americas, pigs are typically fed high-input diets based on corn and soybean meal (CS), in Western Europe it is common to feed pigs with diets based on wheat and barley (WB) with a high addition of protein rich co-products, e.g. from the milling and oil seeds industry. These two feeding scenarios provide a realistic set to verify the presence of a specific type of GxE due to feed, genotype by feed interaction (GxF). In the presence of GxF, selection for FE should consider the different diets of pigs. Residual energy intake (REI) appears as a good trait to measure FE, as utilization of energy in the diet is a foundational driver of FE. Genetic correlations between FE on different diets are largely unknown. Phenotypes of 2,230 three-way crossbred pigs offspring of F1 sows sired by a synthetic sire line and raised under commercial production conditions were available for this study. In total, 547 boars and 558 gilts were fed CS and 567 boars and 558 gilts were fed WB. Heritability estimates were higher in the group of pigs fed CS for the traits average daily energy intake (ADEI), lipid deposition (LD) and protein deposition (PD), and higher in the group of pigs fed WB for REI. Genetic correlations between the performances under both diets were 1.00, 0.62, 0.99 and 0.76 for ADEI, LD, PD and REI, respectively. GxF was found to compromise the lipid deposition (LD) and the residual energy intake (REI) of pigs on the different diets causing re-ranking of genotypes and heterogeneity of variance. Thus, the genetic progress realized under one diet is not fully carried over when pigs have to perform under the other diet. Selection for LD and REI should take place on the target diet. Keywords: breeding program, correlated response, feed efficiency, genetic gain
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Challenges - Genotype by Environment Interactions, , 244, 2018
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