Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in J. Anim. Sci. 1992. 70:2999-3006. Copyright © 1992 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Genetic variation for liver mass (LM), body mass (BM), and 1iver:body mass (LM/ BM) was examined for outbred populations of laboratory mice. Liver mass and body mass data were collected on 170 pureline sires at 12 wk of age, representing four outbred stocks of laboratory mice; 523 of their male and female two-way cross progeny at 9 or 12 wk; and 214 four-way-cross' offspring at 12, 14, or 16 wk. Genetic differences for LM, BM, and LM/BM were found among the base sire lines and between two-way crosses. Heritabilities and genetic correlations for LM, BM, LM/BM, and LM/MBM (MBM = BM.75) were estimated using offspring-sire regression within and across characteristics. Estimates of heritabilities and genetic correlations were also derived from full-sib covariances in the two-way-cross generation. Heritability estimates pooled over all analyses were .53, .54, .36, and .40 for LM, BM, EM/BM, and LM/MBM, respectively. Body mass was highly genetically correlated (.87) with LM and lowly correlated with LM/BM. Previous research has indicated possible positive relationships between LM/BM and maintenance energy requirements in mature, nonlactating, nonpregnant animals. A selection index was developed for increasing BM but restricting genetic change in LM to zero. Selection using this index would be 40% as efficient in increasing BM as selection on BM alone but may hold maintenance energy requirements at a stable level.