Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in J. Anim. Sci. 1996. 74:610–615. Copyright © 1996 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Embryonal survival was compared in mice resulting from four criteria of selection: LS = selection on number born; IX = selection on an index of ovulation rate and ova success; UT = selection on number born to unilaterally ovariectomized females; and LC = unselected control. Selection occurred for 21 generations with three replicates of the four criteria; thereafter, relaxed selection was practiced. The evaluation was performed using mice of two replicates at Generation 35 and one replicate at Generation 36. Data on a total of 289 female mice were recorded. Females, at an average age of 9 wk, were mated to males of the same line. Six days after mating, each female was killed, ovaries were excised, corpora lutea were counted and equated to number of ova shed, and the numbers of implantation sites in each uterine horn were recorded. Least squares means were .84, .91, .85, and .82 for left embryonal survival (left implantations/ left ova) and .91, .90, .86, and .87 for right embryonal survival for LS, IX, UT, and LC, respectively. The right side had greater ovulation rate ( P < .001) and number of implantations ( P < .001). For embryonal survival, the criterion ´ side interaction was possibly important ( P < .09). Selection for litter size by different criteria increased ovulation rate (P < .003) and embryonal survival ( P < .05) to 6 d. However, responses in embryonal survival were not greater after UT selection compared with LS or IX selection.