Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in J. Anim. Sci. 1997. 75:1486–1494. Copyright American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Fifty-five microsatellite markers were scored in an F2 population of pigs (n = 114 females) developed at the University of Nebraska. The population was produced by crossing a line previously selected for 10 generations using an index of ovulation rate and embryonal survival and a line selected at random. The lines were from a common base population and differed by 6.7 ovulations and 3.1 fetuses at 50 d of gestation. Ovulation rate and number of fully formed and mummified pigs were recorded for each female. Data were analyzed with regression models that included random animal effects. Likelihood-ratio tests were used to test for quantitative trait loci (QTL) effects by deviating the log-likelihood for the full model that included additive and dominance QTL effects from the log-likelihood for the reduced model that did not contain QTL effects. A QTL for ovulation rate was found on chromosome 8 (P < .001) with an additive effect of 3.07 ovulations. Other evidence of potential QTL affecting ovulation rate was found on chromosomes 4 (P < .10), 13, and 15 (P < .05). Effects on chromosomes 4, 13, and 15 were not significant for an experiment-wise threshold value of P < .001. No significant QTL for litter size or number of mummified pigs were found. Additional data are needed to confirm the location and the effect of QTL found for ovulation rate before markers associated with them can be used in marker-assisted selection.