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See detailGenetic improvement of pig sire lines for production performances in crossbreeding
Dufrasne, Marie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Crossbreeding is widely used in pig breeding to benefit from advantages of heterosis effects and breed complementarity. Breeding programs are specialized between sire and dam lines, with different ... [more ▼]

Crossbreeding is widely used in pig breeding to benefit from advantages of heterosis effects and breed complementarity. Breeding programs are specialized between sire and dam lines, with different selection objectives. Sire lines are mainly selected for production traits (e.g., growth, carcass quality, feed efficiency). Moreover, selection is often in purebred lines while the goal of selection is to improve crossbred performances. Hence, genetic selection of purebred parents involved in crossbreeding requires models accounting for crossbreeding effects, and able to combine data from different genetic types (purebreds and crossbreds) and different environmental conditions. Therefore, the objective of this thesis was to develop genetic models to estimate genetic parameters and breeding values for production traits in crossbred populations of pigs. A genetic model was developed to estimate the genetic potential of Walloon purebred Piétrain boars for growth performances in crossbreeding based on test station and on-farm data from purebred and crossbred pigs. Weight records from both systems were considered as different traits. Results showed that weights recorded in test station and on-farm were different traits but genetically correlated. Moreover, combining both sources of data allowed to increase reliability of estimated breeding values and Genotype x Environment interactions were detected for growth in the Walloon breeding program. The introduction of dominance effects, linked to crossbreeding, into the genetic model for growth in the crossbred population showed that dominance effects existed on growth of crossbred pigs. Moreover, the total and the additive genetic merits were better estimated than with a strictly additive model. Research conducted on commercial crossbred data from US Duroc sires displayed that the sire genetic effects are not negligible on traits like piglet birth weight, preweaning mortality, mortality at different stages of the grow-finishing period and hot carcass weight. Furthermore, sire genetic effects increased with age. Genetic studies of mortality in the population from US Duroc sires showed that mortality traits had a low heritability, increasing with age and that mortality is not antagonistic with market weight. Besides, genetic parameters estimated for birth weight and its relation with other production traits in crossbred populations from Piétrain and Duroc sires showed that birth weight could be used as an early indicator trait to improve latter performances. Finally, production traits are genetically correlated and should be selected simultaneously to reach the breeding goal. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters for individual birth weight, weaning weight and final weight of crossbred pigs from Piétrain boars
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Wavreille, José; Piedboeuf, Maureen et al

Poster (2014, August)

Genetic parameters for birth weight (BWT), weaning weight (WWT), and final weight (BW) were estimated for crossbred pigs from Piétrain boars raised in test station. Estimates of direct heritability were ... [more ▼]

Genetic parameters for birth weight (BWT), weaning weight (WWT), and final weight (BW) were estimated for crossbred pigs from Piétrain boars raised in test station. Estimates of direct heritability were moderate (0.25 to 0.42), suggesting that genetic improvement of growth would be possible. Estimates of maternal heritability were 0.24 for BWT and WWT, and 0.05 for BW, indicating that the genetic influence of the dam on growth was not negligible until weaning. Genetic correlations between direct and maternal effects for BWT and WWT were moderate and unfavorable (-0.52 and -0.57 respectively). Direct genetic correlations were high and favorable between traits (0.40 to 0.75), suggesting that a high BWT is a good predictor to produce pigs with high final weight. Maternal genetic correlations between traits were low (0.01 to 0.03). Selection for higher BWT would increase final market weight but should be balanced with survival traits. [less ▲]

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See detailQuel système d'évaluations génétiques pour les verrats Piétrain en Wallonie
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Piedboeuf, Maureen; Wavreille, José et al

Article for general public (2014)

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See detailEstimation of dominance variance for live body weight in a crossbred population of pigs
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Faux, Pierre ULg; Piedboeuf, Maureen et al

in Journal of Animal Science (2014), 92

The objective of this study was to estimate the dominance variance for repeated live BW records in a crossbred population of pigs. Data were provided by the Walloon Pig Breeding Association and included ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study was to estimate the dominance variance for repeated live BW records in a crossbred population of pigs. Data were provided by the Walloon Pig Breeding Association and included 22,197 BW records of 2,999 crossbred Piétrain × Landrace K+ pigs from 50 to 210 d of age. The BW records were standardized and adjusted to 210 d of age for analysis. Three single-trait random regression animal models were used: Model 1 without parental subclass effect, Model 2 with parental subclasses considered unrelated, and Model 3 with the complete parental dominance relationship matrix. Each model included sex, contemporary group, and heterosis as fixed effects as well as additive genetic, permanent environment, and residual as random effects. Variance components and their SE were estimated using a Gibbs sampling algorithm. Heritability tended to increase with age: from 0.50 to 0.64 for Model 1, from 0.19 to 0.42 for Model 2, and from 0.31 to 0.53 for Model 3. Permanent environmental variance tended to decrease with age and accounted for 29 to 44% of total variance with Model 1, 29 to 37% of total variance with Model 2, and 34 to 51% of total variance with Model 3. Residual variance explained <10% of total variance for the 3 models. Dominance variance was computed as 4 times the estimated parental subclass variance. Dominance variance accounted for 22 to 40% of total variance for Model 2 and 5 to 11% of total variance for Model 3, with a decrease with age for both models. Results showed that dominance effects exist for growth traits in pigs and may be reasonably large. The use of the complete dominance relationship matrix may improve the estimation of additive genetic variances and breeding values. Moreover, a dominance effect could be especially useful in selection programs for individual matings through the use of specific combining ability to maximize growth potential of crossbred progeny. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters for individual birth weight, weaning weight and final weight of crossbred pigs from Piétrain boars
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Wavreille, José; Piedboeuf, Maureen et al

Poster (2014)

Genetic parameters for birth weight (BWT), weaning weight (WWT), and final weight (BW) were estimated for crossbred pigs from Piétrain boars raised in test station. Estimates of direct heritability were ... [more ▼]

Genetic parameters for birth weight (BWT), weaning weight (WWT), and final weight (BW) were estimated for crossbred pigs from Piétrain boars raised in test station. Estimates of direct heritability were moderate (0.25 to 0.42), suggesting that genetic improvement of growth would be possible. Estimates of maternal heritability were 0.24 for BWT and WWT, and 0.05 for BW, indicating that the genetic influence of the dam on growth was not negligible until weaning. Genetic correlations between direct and maternal effects for BWT and WWT were moderate and unfavorable (-0.52 and -0.57 respectively). Direct genetic correlations were high and favorable between traits (0.40 to 0.75), suggesting that a high BWT is a good predictor to produce pigs with high final weight. Maternal genetic correlations between traits were low (0.01 to 0.03). Selection for higher BWT would increase final market weight but should be balanced with survival traits. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic analysis of pig survival up to commercial weight in a crossbred population
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Misztal, Ignacy; Tsuruta, Shogo et al

in Livestock Science (2014), 167

Records from 99,384 crossbred pigs from Duroc sires and Large White x Landrace dams were used to estimate genetic parameters for survival traits at different stages of the fattening period, and their ... [more ▼]

Records from 99,384 crossbred pigs from Duroc sires and Large White x Landrace dams were used to estimate genetic parameters for survival traits at different stages of the fattening period, and their relations with final weight. Traits analyzed were preweaning mortality (PWM), culling between weaning and harvesting (Call), culling during the farrowing period (Cfar), in the nursery site (Cnur), during the finishing phase (Cfin), and hot carcass weight (HCW). Because of the binary nature of PWM and culling traits, threshold-linear models were used: Model 1, including PWM, Call, and HCW; Model 2, including PWM, Cfar, Cnur, Cfin, and HCW. Both models included sex and parity number as fixed effects for all traits. Contemporary groups were considered as fixed effect for HCW and as random effects for the binary traits. Random effects were sire additive genetic, common litter, and residual effects for all traits and models. Heritability estimates were 0.03 for PWM, and 0.15 for HCW with both models, 0.06 for Call with Model 1, and 0.06 for Cfar, 0.14 for Cnur, and 0.10 for Cfin with Model 2. Litter variance explained a large part of the total variance and its influence declined slightly with age. For Model 1, genetic correlations were -0.36 between PWM and Call, -0.02 between PWM and HCW, and -0.25 between Call and HCW; correlations for litter effect were -0.15 between PWM and Call, -0.19 between PWM and HCW, and -0.21 between Call and HCW. For Model 2, genetic correlations were all positive between PWM and culling traits, except between PWM and Cnur (-0.61). Genetic correlations between HCW and the other traits were moderate and negative to null. Correlations for common litter effect were all negative between traits, except between Cfar and Cfin, and between Cnur and Cfin. Heritability of PWM and culling traits increased with age period. Therefore, selection for survival after weaning may be more efficient. The low genetic correlations between PWM and culling traits suggest that different genes influence pre- and postweaning mortality. The HCW was not correlated with the other traits. However, relationships are not strongly unfavorable, therefore selection for survival and high final weight is possible. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of dominance variance for growth traits with sire-dam subclass effects in a crossbred population of pigs
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Faux, Pierre ULg; Piedboeuf, Maureen et al

Poster (2014)

Nonadditive genetic effects may be not negligible but are often ignored in genetic evaluations. The most important nonadditive effect is probably dominance. Prediction of dominance effects should allow a ... [more ▼]

Nonadditive genetic effects may be not negligible but are often ignored in genetic evaluations. The most important nonadditive effect is probably dominance. Prediction of dominance effects should allow a more precise estimation of the total genetic merit, particularly in populations that use specialized sire and dam lines, and with large number of full-sibs, like pigs. Computation of the inverted dominance relationship matrix, D-1, is difficult with large datasets. But, D-1 can be replaced by the inverted sire-dam subclass relationship matrix F-1, which represents the average dominance effect of full-sibs. The aim of this study was to estimate dominance variance for longitudinal measurements of body weight (BW) in a crossbred population of pigs The dataset consisted of 20,120 BW measurements recorded between 50 and 210 d of age on 2,341 crossbred pigs (Piétrain X Landrace). A random regression model was used to estimate variance components. Fixed effects were sex and date of recording. Random effects were additive genetic, permanent environment, parental dominance and residual. Dominance variance represented 7 to 9% of the total variance and 11 to 30% of additive variance. Those results showed that dominance variance exists for growth traits in pigs and may be relatively large. The estimation of dominance effects may be useful for mate selection program to maximize genetic merit of progeny. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of dominance variance with sire-dam subclass effects in a crossbred population of pigs
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Faux, Pierre ULg; Piedboeuf, Maureen et al

Poster (2013, August 26)

Nonadditive genetic effects may be not negligible but are often ignored in genetic evaluations. The most important nonadditive effect is probably dominance. Prediction of dominance effects should allow a ... [more ▼]

Nonadditive genetic effects may be not negligible but are often ignored in genetic evaluations. The most important nonadditive effect is probably dominance. Prediction of dominance effects should allow a more precise estimation of the total genetic merit, particularly in populations that use specialized sire and dam lines, and with large number of full-sibs, like pigs. Computation of the inverted dominance relationship matrix, D-1, is difficult with large datasets. But, D-1 can be replaced by the inverted sire-dam subclass relationship matrix F-1, which represents the average dominance effect of full-sibs. The aim of this study was to estimate dominance variance for longitudinal measurements of body weight (BW) in a crossbred population of pigs, assuming unrelated sire-dam subclass effects. The edited dataset consisted of 20,120 BW measurements recorded between 50 and 210 d of age on 2,341 crossbred pigs from 89 Piétrain sires and 169 Landrace dams. A random regression model was used to estimate variance components. Fixed effects were sex and date of recording. Random effects were additive genetic, permanent environment, sire-dam subclass and residual. Random effects, except residual, were modeled with linear splines. Only full-sib contributions were considered by using uncorrelated sire-dam classes. Estimated heritability of BW increased with age from 0.40 to 0.60. Inversely, estimated dominance decreased with age, from 0.28 to 0.01. Ratio of dominance relative to additive variance was high at early age (58.3% at 50 d) and decreased with age (2.6% at 200 d). Those results showed that dominance effects might be important for early growth traits in pigs. However, this need to be confirmed and dominance relationships will be included in the next steps. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic analysis of longitudinal measurements of feed intake in Piétrain sire lines
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Jaspart, Véronique; Wavreille, José et al

Poster (2013, July 10)

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See detailGenetic analysis of pig survival in a crossbred population
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Misztal, Ignacy; Tsuruta, Shogo et al

Conference (2013, July 09)

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See detailSystème d'évaluations génétiques des verrats Piétrain en croisement en Wallonie
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2013)

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See detailEvaluations génétiques des verrats Piétrain en croisement en Wallonie
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2013)

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See detailEstimation of genetic parameters for birth weight, preweaning mortality, and hot carcass weight of crossbred pigs
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Misztal, Ignacy; Tsuruta, Shogo et al

in Journal of Animal Science (2013), 91

Genetic parameters for birth weight (BWT), preweaning mortality (PWM), and hot carcass weight (HCW) were estimated for a crossbred pig population to determine if BWT could be used as an early predictor ... [more ▼]

Genetic parameters for birth weight (BWT), preweaning mortality (PWM), and hot carcass weight (HCW) were estimated for a crossbred pig population to determine if BWT could be used as an early predictor for later performances. Sire genetic effects for those traits were estimated to determine if early selection of purebred sires used in crossbreeding could be improved. Data were recorded from one commercial farm between 2008 and 2010. Data were from 24,376 crossbred pigs from Duroc sires and crossbred Large White × Landrace dams and included 24,376 BWT and PWM records, and 13,029 HCW records. For the analysis, PWM was considered as a binary trait (0 for live or 1 for dead piglet at weaning). A multi-trait threshold-linear animal model was used, with animal effect divided into sire genetic and dam effects; the dam effects included both genetic and environmental variation due to the absence of pedigree information for crossbred dams. Fixed effects were sex and parity for all traits, contemporary groups for BWT and HCW, and age at slaughter as a linear covariable for HCW. Random effects were sire additive genetic, dam, litter, and residual effects for all traits, and contemporary group for PWM. Heritability estimates were 0.04 for BWT, 0.02 for PWM, and 0.12 for HCW. Ratio between sire genetic and total estimated variances was 0.01 for BWT and PWM, and 0.03 for HCW. Dam and litter variances explained respectively 14% and 15% of total variance for BWT, 2% and 10% for PWM, and 3% and 8% for HCW. Genetic correlations were −0.52 between BWT and PWM, 0.55 between BWT and HCW, and -0.13 between PWM and HCW. Selection of purebred sires for higher BWT of crossbreds may slightly improve survival until weaning and final market weight at the commercial level. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic analysis of longitudinal measurements of feed intake in Piétrain sire lines
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Jaspart, Véronique; Wavreille, José et al

in Journal of Animal Science (2013), 91(E-Suppl.2), 293

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See detailGenetic analysis of pig survival in a crossbred population
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Misztal, Ignacy; Tsuruta, Shogo et al

in Journal of Animal Science (2013), 91(E-Suppl.2), 193

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See detailEstimation of dominance variance with sire-dam subclass effects in a crossbred population of pigs
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Jaspart, Véronique; Wavreille, José et al

in Book of Abstract of the 64th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Animal Science (2013)

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See detailEstimation of genetic parameters for longitudinal measurements of feed intake in Piétrain sire lines
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Jaspart, Véronique; Wavreille, José et al

Conference (2012, August 30)

The aim of this study was to estimate the genetic parameters for longitudinal measurements of feed intake (FI) in a crossbred population of pigs to develop a genetic evaluation model for the estimation of ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to estimate the genetic parameters for longitudinal measurements of feed intake (FI) in a crossbred population of pigs to develop a genetic evaluation model for the estimation of breeding values for FI of Piétrain boars. Data were collected on crossbred pigs in test station in the context of the genetic evaluation system of Piétrain boars in the Walloon Region of Belgium. Trait analyzed was daily FI (DFI). Because there were no facilities to record individual DFI in the Walloon test station, individual DFI were assumed to be the total pen FI divided by the number of pigs per pen. The edited dataset consisted of 3,902 measurements of DFI recorded on 1,975 crossbred pigs from 75 purebred Piétrain sires and 150 Landrace dams from the hyperprolific Landrace K+ line. A random regression animal model with fixed effects of sex and pen, and random effects of additive genetic, permanent environment and residual was developed in this study. Random additive genetic and permanent environment effects were modeled with linear splines with knots located at 75, 100, 175 and 210 d. The mean DFI was 1.979 kg/d with a SD of 0.479 kg/d. Estimated heritability for DFI increased with age from 0.02 at 75 d to 0.30 at 210 d. Estimated genetic correlation between age decreased when age interval increased. These preliminary results are consistent with literature. However, additional research are ongoing to test alternative random regression models that should be better than using splines for longitudinal performance of DFI. Furthermore, genetic relationship between DFI and other production traits, like growth and carcass traits, must be analyzed. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of genetic parameters for birth weight, pre-weaning mortality and hot carcass weight in a crossbred population of pigs
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Misztal, Ignacy; Tsuruta, Shogo et al

Conference (2012, July 18)

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See detailEstimation of genetic parameters for longitudinal measurements of feed intake in Piétrain sire lines
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Jaspart, Véronique; Wavreille, José et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Animal Science (2012)

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