Estimation of indirect genetic effects in group-housed mink (Neovison vison) should account for systematic interactions either due to kin or sex

S.W. Alemu, P. Berg, L. Janss, P. Bijma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social interactions among individuals are abundant, both in wild and in domestic populations. With social interactions, the genes of an individual may affect the trait values of other individuals, a phenomenon known as indirect genetic effects (IGEs). IGEs can be estimated using linear mixed models. Most IGE models assume that individuals interact equally to all group mates irrespective of relatedness. Kin selection theory, however, predicts that an individual will interact differently with family members versus non-family members. Here, we investigate kin- and sex-specific non-genetic social interactions in group-housed mink. Furthermore, we investigated whether systematic non-genetic interactions between kin or individuals of the same sex influence the estimates of genetic parameters. As a second objective, we clarify the relationship between estimates of the traditional IGE model and a family-based IGE model proposed in a previous study. Our results indicate that male siblings in mink show different non-genetic interactions than female siblings in mink and that this may impact the estimation of genetic parameters. Moreover, we have shown how estimates from a family-based IGE model can be translated to the ordinary direct–indirect model and vice versa. We find no evidence for genetic differences in interactions among related versus unrelated mink.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
JournalJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Volume133
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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