Date of this Version
Weights of testes and epididymides, body weight, and morphometric measurements of testicular tissue of 75 boars of a line selected for eight generations for predicted weight of testes at 150 d of age and 75 boars of a randomly selected control line were used to evaluate the effects of selection on testicular development at 70, 100, 130, 160, and 450 d of age (n = 15 boars per line per age). Body weights for boars of the select and control line did not differ (P <.05) and the shape of the body growth curve was similar for both lines. Boars of the select line had larger testes than control boars at each age (P < .05), but there was a significant line x age interaction. The percentage increase of the select line mean over the control mean for weight of testes was 37% at 70 d, a maximum of 120% at 100 d, and 25% at 450 d. The percentage of the testes made up of seminiferous tubules differed between lines (P <.01). Lines had similar means of approximately 28% at 70 d and 71% at 450 d, but the mean for the select line was larger between 100 and 160 d of age; the greatest difference was 11.6% (control = 43.7, select = 55.3%) at 100 d. After 70 d of age, select-line boars had a greater percentage of seminiferous tubules with lumens that contained elongated spermatids (P <.l0). The proportion of the testes occupied by Leydig cells was greatest at 70 d, declined sharply between 70 and 130 d with a sharper decline in select-line boars, and then declined more gradually from 130 to 450 d of age. We conclude that selection for weight of testes at 150 d resulted in lower age at puberty for boars of the select line.