Genetic evaluation and selection correlated response of growth traits in Japanese quail
Objectives of the current study were to i) investigate effects of selection for bodyweight at four weeks old on bodyweight (BW) and bodyweight gain (BWG) across four generations; ii) estimate correlated response to selection for BW and BWG at different ages; and iii) document best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) of genetic trends for BW and BWG across four generations of selection. A total of 3540 chicks from 444 sires and 885 dams were used to estimate heritabilities, and genetic and phenotypic correlations for growth traits, including BW at 0, 2, 4, and 6 weeks, and BWG between 0 and 2, 2 and 4, 4 and 6, and 0 and 6 weeks. The selection effects, correlated responses and genetic trend for BW and BWG across generations were quantified by applying the animal model. Estimates of heritability for BW and BWG ranged from 0.22 to 0.42 and from 0.18 to 0.23, respectively. Ranges of genetic and phenotypic correlations for BW varied from 0.31 to 0.92 and 0.05 to 0.65, respectively. Moreover, estimates of genetic and phenotypic correlations for BWG at different ages were from 0.12 to 0.72 and 0.17 to 0.60, respectively. Bodyweight and BWG estimates after four generations of selection were significantly higher than those of the base generation. Moreover, contrasts of generation means were significant across the four generations. The genetic trends across the generations clarified that BLUP estimates for BW and BWG gradually increased with the advance of generations until the fourth generation.
Keywords: best linear unbiased prediction, bodyweight, heritability, selection, genetic trend