Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in J. Anim. Sci. 1996. 74:1905–1914.


The objectives of this study were to determine whether circulating concentrations of gonadotropins and gonadal hormones of boars were altered as a result of selection of pigs for size of testes or for embryonal survival and(or) number of ovulations. Included in Exp. 1 and 2 were boars with the greatest estimated paired weight of testes (TS) and boars from a control (C) line. Concentrations of FSH were similar ( P > .10) in boars from the TS and C lines. In Exp. 3, 4, and 5, circulating concentrations of FSH and 17β-estradiol (E2) were evaluated in neonates, during pubertal development, and in mature boars of lines selected for an index of number of ovulations and embryonal survival ( I ) , and data were compared to those for boars from a respective C line. Concentrations of E2 were not different in boars from the I line and those from the C line during the early neonatal period but were greater ( P < .05) in boars of the C line than in those from the I line during pubertal development. Concentrations of FSH were greater ( P < .05) in mature boars from the I line than in those from the C line. In summary, selection for size of testes did not influence circulating concentrations of FSH in mature boars. The secretory pattern of E2 in boars before puberty changed as a result of selection for embryonal survival and number of ovulations in females of the I line, and the different patterns of circulating E2 early in life may result in enhanced circulating concentrations of FSH in adult boars of the I line compared with boars of the C line.