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J Anim Sci. 1997 Dec;75(12):3138-42.

Effect of the estrogen receptor locus on reproduction and production traits in four commercial pig lines.

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PIC USA, Franklin, KY 42135, USA.


We investigated the effect of the estrogen receptor (ESR) gene on growth and reproductive traits in four Large White-based commercial pig lines. A total of 9,015 litter records from 4,262 sows genotyped at the ESR locus were analyzed to determine whether ESR influenced total number born (TNB) or number born alive (NBA). Teat number (TN), test ADG, ADFI, feed:gain ratio (F/G), and ultrasonic backfat (BF) were also analyzed to determine effects of ESR. The TNB and NBA were increased per favorable allele of ESR (P < .01) with additive effects of .42 (.31) and .39 (.31) pigs/litter in the first parity (later parities), respectively. Dominance effects were near zero in parity one, but they were .16 and .14 pigs for TNB and NBA, respectively, in later parities (P < .05). A favorable additive pleiotropic effect was detected for BF (P < .001; -.11 mm per copy of the favorable litter size allele). There were no detectable effects on ADG or F/G (P > .10), although ADF was reduced 18 g/d per copy of the favorable litter size allele (P < .05). Average TN was 13.1 for pigs carrying the favorable litter size allele vs 13.2 for noncarriers (P < .05). Marker-assisted selection using ESR is warranted to increase litter size in the Large White-based lines considered here and will be of considerable economic value to pork producers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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