Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Animal Science 2009. 87:844–849 doi:10.2527/jas.2008-0937


Effects of social interactions on responses to selection for ADG were examined with records of 9,720 boars from dam lines (1 and 2) and sire lines (3 and 4) provided by Pig Improvement Company. Each line was analyzed separately. Pens contained 15 boars. Gains (ADG) were measured from about 71 to 161 d of age and weight from 31 to 120 kg. Models included fixed effects of contemporary groups and initial test age as a covariate, and random direct genetic (d), social genetic (c), social environmental (ce), and litter (lt) effects. Estimates of direct heritability with Model 1 (the full model with d, c, ce, and lt) were 0.21, 0.28, 0.13, and 0.15 for lines 1 to 4. Estimates of heritability of social effects were near zero. Estimates of total heritable variance were 55, 52, 38, and 96% of phenotypic variance for lines 1 through 4. Empirical responses to selection with Model 1 were calculated using the parameter estimates from Model 1. For response of 1 genetic SD for both components (d and c), the proportions of expected total gain due to social effects (with economic weights of 1 and pen size-1=14) were 54, 28, 65, and 65% for the 4 lines. Genetic superiorities of the top 10% of boars were calculated for boars ranked using reduced models, but with EBV calculated using the full model (Model 1). Average total breeding values (ETBV=EBVd+14EBVc) for the top 10% of boars selected with Model 1 were 74.08, 94.26, 31.79, and 92.88 g for lines 1 through 4, respectively. For rankings based on Model 2 (d, ce, and lt), but EBV calculated with Model 1, average total breeding values for the top 10% were 68.15, 94.03, 7.33, and 84.72 g with empirical correlated responses for genetic social effects from selection for direct effects of 0.93, 1.89, -2.19, and 3.52 g for lines 1 to 4.