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J Anim Breed Genet. 2019 May;136(3):183-189. doi: 10.1111/jbg.12393. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

Estimation of genetic parameters and season effects for semen traits in three pig breeds of South China.

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State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Waterfowl Healthy Breeding, College of Animal Sciences and Technology, Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
IPIG Company, Guangzhou, China.
College of Animal Science and technology, Shandong Agricultural University, Shandong Taian, China.


The economic profitability of a boar station largely depends on semen quantity and quality traits. However, genetic analysis of semen traits has not yet been done in the boar population in China. In this study, we aimed to estimate genetic parameters for semen traits and the influence of seasons on these traits by using data of Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire boars in South China. The following four semen traits were analysed: semen volume (ml; VOL), sperm concentration (106 /ml; DEN), sperm motility (MOT) and percentage of abnormal sperm (ABN). Genetic parameters and season effects were estimated simultaneously for each breed by using a multiple-trait (4 × 4) repeatability animal model. The four traits had a moderate heritability with average estimates of 0.23, 0.28, 0.26 and 0.17 across the three breeds, respectively. The estimates of genetic correlations among four traits differed in the three breeds. In particular, in Yorkshire, the four traits were nearly genetically independent. The season of collecting semen had a significant impact on these four semen traits except ABN in Duroc (Bonferroni adjusted p < 0.05/6). The moderate heritabilities indicate the possibility of effective selection of boars for semen traits. Different genetic correlations for the three breeds suggest that the selection strategy for the four traits should be investigated separately for each breed. Some necessary actions should be taken to reduce the influence of seasons on semen traits.


genetic parameter; season effect; semen trait


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