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Genetic differences in reproduction and growth rate between 2 lines of mice selected for litter size

, : Genetic differences in reproduction and growth rate between 2 lines of mice selected for litter size. Zeitschrift fuer Tierzuechtung und Zuechtungsbiologie 99(4): 292-307

Two lines of mice (N [Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Agricultural University at As, Norway] and L [from the Department of Animal Breeding, Agricultural University at Wageningen, The Netherlands]) were compared for the traits litter size, growth rate and body weight from birth until 56 days of age. These lines, formed from different base populations, had been selected during many generations for large litter size at 1st partus. A complete diallel scheme was used to separate phenotypic line differences into direct genetic and maternal effects. Data on the litters from crossed (F1) dams were collected to distinguish a genetic and systematic environmental component within the maternal effect and to estimate maternal heterosis effects. The litters were not standardized. There were no significant phenotypic differences (averages of 13.52 and 13.82, respectively) in litter size between the N and L line. The direct genetic effects on the growth from 12 until 42 days were significantly higher in the N line. The compensatory growth, following after day 42 in the L line, was caused by direct genetic effects. The maternal genetic effects on litter size of the L dams were significantly better at birth. The higher number of deaths, directly after birth in the L line, was also under genetic control of the mother. Differences in systematic environmental effect were not significant. From birth until 56 days the mice of the N line were heavier. The difference was maximum at 42 days. The maternal genetic effects on the growth of the young were much higher in the N line. The males were more sensitive to differences in maternal environment than females. Maternal heterosis on litter size was significant and positive. Direct heterosis on growth was found only in the males. From 21-42 days heterosis was positive; from 42-56 days it was negative.


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