Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

June 1980


Published in JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, Vol. 51, No. 6, 1980. Copyright American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Relationships between plasma progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) and the numbers of corpora lutea and embryos were determined in 133 8-month-old purebred Duroc, Hampshire and Yorkshire gilts and two-breed crosses among the three breeds. The numbers of corpora lutea and normal embryos were determined at slaughteronday 30.8 ± .2 of pregnancy, and progesterone and LH were quantified in plasma obtained the previous day. Progesterone concentrations in plasma were influenced by sire (P<.10), breed of dam (P<.05) and breed of sire x breed of dam (P<.05). Hampshire gilts had higher concentrations of progesterone in plasma than did Durocs (P<.05) and Yorkshires (P<.01). None of the effects in the model was significant for LH. Plasma progesterone and LH had heritability estimates of .48 ± .41 and .29 ± .40, respectively. Most genetic and phenotypic correlations of plasma progesterone and LH with other traits were small. These data indicate that progesterone concentrations in plasma at 30 days of pregnancy are not a satisfactory predictor of the numbers of corpora lutea and embryos. The differences in plasma progesterone between breeds illustrate the need to consider the breed of gilts when selecting animals for the study of luteal function or physiological factors that may influence progesterone concentrations in plasma.