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J Anim Sci. 1990 Nov;68(11):3543-56.

Alternative methods of selection for litter size in mice: II. Response to thirteen generations of selection.

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Anim. Sci. Dept., University of Nebraska-Lincoln 68583-0908.


Selection was conducted on an index of components of litter size (I = 1.21 x ovulation rate + 9.05 x ova success; ovulation rate measured by number of corpora lutea and ova success measured as number of pups born + number of corpora lutea), on uterine capacity (measured as number of pups born to unilaterally ovariectomized dams) and on litter size concurrent with an unselected control for 13 generations. Selection criteria (IX = index, UT = uterine capacity, LS = litter size and LC = control) were applied in each of three replicates. In an evaluation after five generations, IX and LS each exceeded LC by about .5 pups, with no response in UT. After 13 generations, mean ovulation rate, ova success and litter size (measured as number of fetuses at 17 d gestation in intact females) were, for IX, 14.25, .84, 11.95; for LS, 14.15, .82, 11.64; for UT, 12.61, .86, 10.77; and for LC, 12.27, .82, 9.98. The regression of number born (litter size in IX, LS and LC; uterine capacity with only a functional left uterine horn in UT) on cumulative selection differential across 13 generations was .12 +/- .01, .09 +/- .02 and .08 +/- .02 for IX, LS and UT, respectively. The regression of breeding value for litter size on each selection criterion, estimated as response in the generation-13 evaluation divided by cumulative selection differential, was .11 +/- .02, .08 +/- .01 and .05 +/- .03 for IX, LS and UT, respectively. Regression of response in number born on generation number was .17 +/- .01, .15 +/- .04 and .10 +/- .02 for IX, LS and UT, respectively. Selection in IX was promising relative to LS, and selection in UT changed number born.

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