Genetic parameters and principal component analysis for egg production from White Leghorn hens
Data de publicação2013-08-01
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The objectives of this study were to estimate genetic parameters for accumulated egg production over 3-wk periods and for total egg production over 54 wk of egg-laying, and using principal component analysis (PCA), to explore the relationships among the breeding values of these traits to identify the possible genetic relationships present among them and hence to observe which of them could be used as selection criteria for improving egg production. Egg production was measured among 1,512 females of a line of White Leghorn laying hens. The traits analyzed were the number of eggs produced over partial periods of 3 wk, thus totaling 18 partial periods (P1 to P18), and the total number of eggs produced over the period between the 17 and 70 wk of age (PTOT), thus totaling 54 wk of egg production. Estimates of genetic parameters were obtained by means of the restricted maximum likelihood method, using 2-trait animal models. The PCA was done using the breeding values of partial and total egg production. The heritability estimates ranged from 0.05 ± 0.03 (P1 and P8) to 0.27 ± 0.06 (P4) in the 2-trait analysis. The genetic correlations between PTOT and partial periods ranged from 0.19 ± 0.31 (P1) to 1.00 ± 0.05 (P10, P11, and P12). Despite the high genetic correlation, selection of birds based on P10, P11, and P12 did not result in an increase in PTOT because of the low heritability estimates for these periods (0.06 ± 0.03, 0.12 ± 0.04, and 0.10 ± 0.04, respectively). The PCA showed that egg production can be divided genetically into 4 periods, and that P1 and P2 are independent and have little genetic association with the other periods. © 2013 Poultry Science Association Inc.