Genetic Parameters for Lean Growth Rate and Its Components in U.S. Landrace Pigs
Records on 65,536 Landrace pigs collected between 1985 and 1999 in herds on the National Swine Registry STAGES program were used to estimate additive genetic (animal), common environmental (litter), and residual variances and covariances for days to 250 lb, backfat, loin eye area, and lean growth rate. Analysis was by the REMLf90 program of I. Misztal using a multiple-trait animal model with fixed effects of contemporary group and sex and random effects of animal, litter, and residual error. Heritability estimates were 0.54, 0.39, 0.49, and 0.48 for days to 250 lb, backfat, loin eye area, and lean growth rate, respectively. Genetic correlations for lean growth rate with days to 250, backfat, and loin eye area were -0.83, -0.38, and 0.40, respectively. Phenotypic correlations for lean growth rate with days to 250 lb, backfat, and loin eye area were -0.80, -0.40, and 0.56, respectively. Litter effects were large only for days to 250 lb. Lean growth rate should be used as an important selection criteria in genetic improvement in pigs.