Strategies to control inbreeding in a pig breeding program: A simulation study

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate, through data simulation, the impact of restrictions on the maximum number of full- and half-sibs selected for males and females on the level of inbreeding and genetic gain of the herd. Data came from real populations A and B, composed of Pietrain and Landrace breed pigs, respectively. To generate the simulated populations, a Fortran-language simulator was developed using the (co)variances of the breeding values and the productive and reproductive rates obtained from populations A and B. Two data files were created. The first contained the pedigree of the previous 10 years, with 21,906 and 251,343 animals in populations A and B, respectively. The second included breeding values for age to reach 110 Kg body weight, backfat thickness, and feed conversion, for both populations; longissimus dorsi muscle depth, for population A only; and number of live piglets at the 5th day of life per farrowing, for population B only. Three scenarios were simulated with ten generations by varying the restrictions on the number of full- and half-sibs selected for males and females, with 30 replicates per generation and scenario. Regardless of the mating strategy used in a closed production unit, there is an increase in inbreeding levels. Inbreeding increases are larger in populations of smaller effective size. Restrictions on the number of full- and half-sibs selected are effective in reducing increments in inbreeding. Restriction to a maximum of two full-sibs and three half-sibs for males and three full sisters for females provided the highest genetic gains.

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Lopes, J. S., Nogara Rorato, P. R., Breda Mello, F. C., De Freita, M. S., Prestes, A. M., Garcia, D. A., & De Oliveira, M. M. (2019). Strategies to control inbreeding in a pig breeding program: A simulation study. Ciencia Rural, 49(7). https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-8478cr20180994

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