Estimation of genetic variation in residual variance in female and male broiler chickens

H.A. Mulder, W.G. Hill, A. Vereijken, R.F. Veerkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In breeding programs, robustness of animals and uniformity of end product can be improved by exploiting genetic variation in residual variance. Residual variance can be defined as environmental variance after accounting for all identifiable effects. The aims of this study were to estimate genetic variance in residual variance of body weight, and to estimate genetic correlations between body weight itself and its residual variance and between female and male residual variance for broilers. The data sets comprised 26 972 female and 24 407 male body weight records. Variance components were estimated with ASREML. Estimates of the heritability of residual variance were in the range 0.029 (s.e.50.003) to 0.047 (s.e.50.004). The genetic coefficients of variation were high, between 0.35 and 0.57. Heritabilities were higher in females than in males. Accounting for heterogeneous residual variance increased the heritabilities for body weight as well. Genetic correlations between body weight and its residual variance were 20.41 (s.e.50.032) and 20.45 (s.e.50.040), respectively, in females and males. The genetic correlation between female and male residual variance was 0.11 (s.e.50.089), indicating that female and male residual variance are different traits. Results indicate good opportunities to simultaneously increase the mean and improve uniformity of body weight of broilers by selection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673-1680
JournalAnimal
Volume3
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • environmental variability
  • tribolium-castaneum
  • weight traits
  • birth-weight
  • pupa weight
  • litter size
  • selection
  • heterogeneity
  • canalization
  • mice

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