Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

August 1991


Published in Journal of Animal Science, Vol 69, Issue 8 (1991), pp. 3129-3143. Copyright © 1991 by American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Nine generations of selection for high ovulation rate were followed by two generations of random selection and then eight generations of selection for increased litter size at birth, decreased age at puberty, or continued random selection in the high ovulation rate line. A control line was maintained with random selection. Line means were regressed on generation number and on cumulative selection differentials to estimate responses to selection and realized heritabilities. Genetic parameters also were estimated by mixedmodel procedures, and genetic trends were estimated with an animal model. Response to selection for ovulation rate was about 3.7 eggs. Response in litter size to selection for ovulation rate was .089 +/- .058 pigs per generation. Average differences between the high ovulation rate and control lines over generations 10 to 20 were 2.86 corpora lutea and .74 pigs (P less than .05). The regression estimate of total response to selection for litter size was 1.06 pigs per litter (P less than .01), and the realized heritability was .15 +/- .05. When the animal model was used, the estimate of response was .48 pigs per litter. Total response in litter size to selection for ovulation rate and then litter size was estimated to be 1.8 and 1.4 pigs by the two methods. Total response to selection for decreased age at puberty was estimated to be -15.7 d (P less than .01) when data were analyzed by regression (realized heritability of .25 +/- .05) and -17.1 d using the animal model. No changes in litter size occurred in the line selected for decreased age at puberty. Analyses by regression methods and mixed-model procedures gave similar estimates of responses and very similar estimates of heritabilities.