Author(s): Cassady JP, Young LD, Leymaster KA
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The primary objective was to estimate breed, heterosis, and recombination effects on growth and carcass traits of two different four-breed composite populations of pigs. Experiment 1 (Exp. 1) included purebred and crossbred pigs originating from Yorkshire, Landrace, Large White, and Chester White breeds, and Experiment 2 (Exp. 2) included pigs from Duroc, Hampshire, Pietrain, and Spot breeds. Data were recorded on purebred pigs, two-breed cross pigs, and pigs from generations F1 through F6, where F1 pigs were the first generation of a four-breed cross. Pig weights were recorded at birth and at 14, 28, 56, 70, and 154 d of age. Average daily gain was calculated for intervals between weights, and ultrasonic backfat measurements (A-mode) were taken at 154 d of age. Feed intake was measured between 70 and 154 d of age on mixed pens of boars and barrows. Carcass backfat, length, and loin muscle area were measured on barrows at slaughter. Mixed-model analyses were done separately by experiment, fitting an animal model. Fixed effects included farrowing group and sex for growth traits and farrowing group for carcass traits. For ADFI, a weighted mixed-model analysis was done fitting farrowing group as a fixed effect, sire nested within farrowing group as a random effect, and weighting each observation by the number of pigs in each pen. To test feed efficiency, a second analysis of ADFI was done adding ADG as a covariate in the previous model. Included as covariates in all models were direct, maternal, and maternal grandam breed effects, direct and maternal heterosis effects, and a direct recombination effect. Recombination is the breakup of additive x additive epistatic effects present in purebreds during gamete formation by crossbred parents. Effects of direct heterosis significantly increased weights at birth, 14, 56, 70, and 154 d of age in Exp. 1. Effects of direct heterosis significantly increased ADG from birth to 14, 28 to 56, and 70 to 154 d of age in Exp. 1. In Exp. 2, effect of direct heterosis significantly increased weights and ADG at all ages. In Exp. 1, recombination significantly reduced loin muscle area. In Exp. 2, recombination significantly increased weights at birth, 14, 28, and 56 d, ADFI from 70 to 154 d, and ADFI adjusted for ADG. The correlation between maternal heterosis and recombination effects for all traits in Exp. 1 and Exp. 2 was approximately -0.90. Maternal heterosis and recombination effects were estimable, but greatly confounded.
This article was published in J Anim Sci
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology